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North Carolina 
Historical Review 

Issued Quarterly 

Volume XXVI Numbers 1-4 


Published by 


Corner of Edenton and Salisbury streets 
Raleigh, N. C. 


• - 

W %*i3 v> 


Published by the State Department of Archives and History 

Raleigh, N. C. 

Christopher Crittenden, Editor 
David Leroy Corbitt, Managing Editor 

Robert Digges Wimberly Connor Walter Clinton Jackson 

Adelaide Lisetta Fries 


Robert Digges Wimberly Connor, Chairman 

James Allan Dunn Gertrude Sprague Carraway 

Clarence Wilbur Griffin Mrs. Sadie Smathers Patton 

William Thomas Laprade McDaniel Lewis 

Christopher Crittenden, Director 

This review was established in January, 192 -4, as a medium of publication 
and discussion of history in North Carolina. It is issued to other institutions 
by exchange, but to the general public by subscription only. The regular 
price is $2.00 per year. To members of the State Literary and Historical 
Association there is a special price of $1.00 per year. Back numbers may 
be procured at the regular price of $2.00 per volume, or $.50 per number. 

The North Carolina 
Historical Review 




Richard Walser 


Chalmers G. Davidson 

1864-1865 , 41 

Louis A. Brown 


Lefler's A Plea for Federal Union, North Carolina, 1 788 
— By William C. Pool ; Hardin's History of Mission- 
ary Methodism, 1913-191*8 — By George W. Paschal; 
Ware's Rountree Chronicles, 1827 -18 UO, Documentary 
Primer of a Tar Heel Faith — By George W. Paschal ; 
Eisenschiml's and Newman's The American Iliad, The 
Epic Story of the Civil War as Narrated by Eyewitness- 
es and Contemporaries — By Frontis W. Johnston; 
Franklin's From Slavery to Freedom: A History of 
American Negroes — By Francis B. Simkins; Smith's 
Colonists in Bondage: White Servitude and Convict 
Labor in America, 1607-1776 — By Robert E. Moody; 
Alden's General Gage in America — By William S. 
Powell; Butler's The Unhurried Years; Memories of 
the Old Natchez Region — By Weymouth T. Jordan; 
Williams's The Memoirs of Lieut. Henry Timberlake — 
By Douglas L. Rights ; Rouse's and Goggin's An An- 
thropological Bibliography of the Eastern Seaboard — 
By Douglas L. Rights ; Toulmin's The Western Coun- 
try in 1793, Reports on Kentucky and Virginia — By 
Thomas D. Clark; Thirteenth Annual Report of the 
Archivist of the United States, for the Year Ending 
June 30, 19 U7 — By W. Edwin Hemphill. 



iv Contents 

NUMBER 2, APRIL, 1949 



J. C. Harrington 


Elisha P. Douglass 


OF NATIONS, 1918-1920 187 

Dewey W. Grantham, Jr. 




Christopher Crittenden 


George W. Paschal 


SOUTH 216 

George Myers Stephens 



Mary Callum Wiley 


Alice M. Baldwin 



Douglas L. Rights 


Mary Lindsay Thornton 


Wager's and Hayman's Resource Management In North 
Carolina — By D. J. Whitener; Knight's Henry Har- 
risse on Collegiate Education — By B. Y. Tyner; 
Brooks's and Lefler's The Papers of Walter Clark, 
1857-1901 — By Armistead M. Dobie; Sizemore's The 

Contents v 

Building and Builders of a City: High Point North 
Carolina — By Paul Murray; Brydon's Virginia's 
Mother Church and the Political Conditions Under 
Which It Grew — By George W. Paschal; Jordan's 
Hugh Davis and His Alabama Plantation — By J. Car- 
lyle Sitterson ; Oeste's Teaching Local History in To- 
day's World — By J. E. Miller; Carter's The Terri- 
torial Papers of the United States, vol. XIII, The Terri- 
tory of Louisiana-Missouri, 1803-1806 — By EDWIN 
Adams Davis ; Sydnor's The Development of Southern 
Sectionalism, 1819 -18 U8 — By Avery Craven ; Labaree's 
Conservatism in Early American History — By Robert 
E. Moody; Van Doren's The Great Rehearsal The 
Story of the Making and Ratifying of the Constitution 
of the United States — By A. R. Newsome ; Wallace's 
The Papacy and European Diplomacy, 1869-1878 — By 
James A. Manger. 


vi Contents 

NUMBER 3, JULY, 1949 


Madeleine B. Stern 


Eddie W. Wilson 



Mary Elizabeth Massey 


William S. Powell 


Horn's Gallant Rebel: The Fabulous Cruise of the C.S.S. 
Shenandoah — By James W. Patton; Tilley's The 
Bright Tobacco Industry, 1860-1929 — By Everett E. 
Edwards; Green's The Common Glory — By Richard 
Walser; James's A Sketch of the Life of Brig. Gen. 
Francis Marion and a History of his Brigade — By Rob- 
ert M. Langdon; Quarles's Frederick Douglass — By 
Robert M. Langdon; Freidel's Francis Lieber — By 
Frontis W. Johnston ; Gosnell's Rebel Raider, Being 
an Account of Raphael Semmes's Cruise in the C. S. S. 
Sumter — By Paul Murray ; Walters's Joseph Benson 
Foraker, An Uncompromising Republican — By Wey- 
mouth T. Jordan; Murray's The Whig Party in 
Georgia — By Horace Montgomery; Saye's A Con- 
stitutional History of Georgia — By Francis Paschal ; 
Clark's The Rural Press and the Neiv South — By 
Rosser H. Taylor; Hockett's Introduction to Re- 
search in American History (2nd Ed.) — By C. 0. 
Cathey; Schlesinger's Paths to the Present — By 
Chalmers G. Davidson ; Hemphill's Gold Star Honor 
Roll of Virginians in the Second World War and 
Parlier's Pursuits of War, the People of Charlottes- 
ville and Albemarle County, Virginia, in the Second 
World War — By William S. Powell; Shoemaker's 
The State Historical Society of Missouri — A Semicen- 
tennial History, 1898-1948 — By Douglas L. Rights; 
Wolfe's Mannerhouse — By W. P. Cumming; Bink- 
ley's The Churches and The Social Conscience — By 
Edwin McNeill Poteat. 


Contents vii 


BENTON, 1752-1801 385 

William N. Chambers 

POEMS" (1848) 417 

Curtis Carroll Davis 


Thomas E. Blades and John W. Wire 




Fries's, Wiley's, Rights's, Dinkins's, Siewers's and 
Lee's Forsyth, A County on the March — By Marvin W. 
Schlegel; Freeman's George Washington. A Biog- 
raphy. Volumes I and II. Young Washington — By 
A. R. Newsome ; Martin's Florida's Flagler — By Doro- 
thy Dodd ; Cook's The Family and Early Life of Stone- 
wall Jackson — By Henry T. Shanks ; Vance's, Ivey's, 
and Bond's Exploring The South — By Irwin T. Sand- 
ers; Robert's The Story of Tobacco in America and 
Hess's American Tobacco and Central European Policy: 
Early Nineteenth Century — By Rosser H. Taylor; 
Owsley's, Chitwood's and Nixon's A Short History of 
the American People — By James W. Patton ; Craven's 
and Cate's The Army Air Forces in World War II. 
Volume I. Plans and Early Operations, January 1939 
to August 19 U2 — By Robert S. Milner; McIl wain's 
and Friedenberg's Legends of Baptist Hollow — By 
Richard Walser ; Guide to the Records in the National 
Archives — By E. G. Roberts; Babst's and Vander 
Velde's Michigan and the Cleveland Era, Sketches of 
University of Michigan Staff Members and Alumni who 
Served the Cleveland Administrations, 1885-89, 1893- 
97— By H. 0. Spencer. 


The North Carolina 
Historical Review 

Volume XXVI JANUARY, 1949 Number 1 

By Richard Walser, 

The first novel written by a resident North Carolinian with 
a North Carolina background 1 was Eoneguski, or, the Cherokee 
Chief: A Tale of Past Wars. By an American. This unusual ro- 
mance was from the pen of Robert Strange, a United States 
Senator who was living in Washington at the time of the appear- 
ance of the novel. It was issued at Washington in the early 
months of 1839, probably during February, in an attractive two- 
volume edition over the imprint of Franck Taylor, the verso of the 
title page stating that it was "printed and copyrighted by Peter 
Force, Corner of D and 10th Streets." Though the book was 
better than average reading judged by contemporary standards, 
it was inadequately distributed, possibly because it was sup- 
pressed for reasons concerning which later historians have never 
been in agreement. Even now its rarity 2 has prevented satisfactory 
acquaintance with it among those readers who would find it 
entertaining and instructive both from a historical and from 
a literary point of view. 

The author of Eoneguski was born in Manchester, Virginia, 
September 20, 1796. 3 He attended private schools in Virginia, 

1 The first novel by a resident North Carolinian was Winifred Marshall Gales' Matilda 
Berkely, or Family Anecdotes (Raleigh, 1804), a sentimental story of English life; and it 
seems likely that the first novel employing a partial North Carolina setting was the famous 
Horse-Shoe Robinson (1835) by John Pendleton Kennedy, a Marylander. 

2 There are copies at the Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, California; Duke 
University Library, Durham, North Carolina; Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois; University 
of Texas Library, Austin; University of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill; New York 
Public Library; Library of Congress, Washington; Yale University Library, New Haven, 
Connecticut; Olivia Raney Public Library, Raleigh, North Carolina; Sondley Reference 
Library, Asheville, North Carolina; and in the private collections of Bruce Cotten, Baltimore, 
and Roger Marshall, Raleigh. 

3 Biographical material from John S. McEachern, "Robert Strange, Twelfth Grand Master 
of Masons in North Carolina," The Orphans' Friend and Masonic Journal, LXIV (August 1, 
1939), 7; John Livingstone (ed.), Biographical Sketches- of Eminent American Lawyers, 
Now Living (New York, 1852), I, 97-111; John H. Wheeler, Historical Sketches of North 
Carolina (Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo, 1851), II, 130; John Howard Brown (ed.), The 
Cyclopaedia of American Biographies (Boston: Federal Book Company, 1903), VII, 243; Bio- 
graphical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1927 (Government Printing Office, 1928), 
1579; and S. A. Ashe, "Robert Strange," unpublished sketch in the Charles L. Van Noppen 
Papers, Manuscript Room, Duke University Library. 



2 The North Carolina Historical Review 

later enrolled in Washington College (now Washington and Lee 
University), and graduated from Hampden-Sydney College. At 
the age of nineteen he moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina, 
where he studied law, was admitted to the bar, and began his 
practice. In 1817 he married Jane Kirkland of Hillsboro, a sister 
of the wife of Chief Justice Thomas Ruff in. He was a member of 
the state house of commons, 1821-1823, 1826 ; and from 1827 to 
1836 he served as judge of the superior court in North Carolina. 
From 1836 to 1840 he was United States Senator from North 
Carolina. After his resignation from the Senate he resumed his 
law practice in Fayetteville and became solicitor for the state 
Fifth Judicial District. He died in Wilmington, February 19, 
1854, and was interred in the family burial ground at his home, 
"Myrtle Hill," near Fayetteville. 

For many years before its publication Strange had been 
gathering material for his Indian romance. While riding the 
superior court circuit, he had visited the North Carolina moun- 
tains, inquiring into Indian antiquities and legends and making 
copious notes about aboriginal customs and histories. The result 
was a conviction that the white settlers had dealt unjustly with 
the native owners of the mountain lands, and this conviction he 
set down forcibly in his novel. By the summer of 1838 he had 
completed the book, and on July 6 he wrote to Peter Force : 

The bearer will deliver you herewith the M.S. which I have 
corrected as far as time will afford in its present state. I will 
reserve any farther corrections for the proof sheets. I am afraid 
it is not as legible as could be desired but your compositors will 
I trust soon become accustomed to the hand. 4 

A few days later Strange drew up in his own handwriting a 
two-page contract for the publication of the novel. It is an 
interesting document, particularly in its indication of the high 
hopes Strange had for the work's financial and popular success. 

Agreement entered into this 10 th day of July in the year of our 
Lord One thousand eight hundred and thirty eight between Peter 
Force of the City of Washington and Robert Strange of North 
Carolina Witnesseth 

That whereas the said Robert Strange hath written and com- 
posed a certain tale or Novel by the Title of Eoneguski or the 

4 Manuscript insertion in volume II of Eoneguski, New York Public Library. Faitbful re- 
production of spelling, capitalization, and punctuation in the quotation from original manu- 
scripts and books has been effected in all cases. 




(Portrait property of Mr. Robert Strange, 
Wilmington, direct descendant of novelist) 

Robert Strange 


Senator Strange's Indian Novel 3 

Cherokee Cheif and is desirous of publishing the same and the 
said Peter Force is ready and competent and having the neces- 
sary means and skill to make and issue the said publication it is 
understood and agreed between the parties that the said Peter 
Force shall proceed to secure the copy right for the said work in 
his own name both in the United States of America and in great 
Britian and issue and publish as soon as may be at his own risk & 
hazard a suitable number of copies of the said work for the first 
edition and cause the same to be sold to the best advantage and 
the proceeds of such sales apply first to the payment of the neces- 
sary expences incident to such sales and publication and the bal- 
ance divide equally between the said Peter Force and Robert 
Strange. And the said copy right both in the United States of 
America and in Great Britian is to be and remain the property of 
the said Robert Strange and Peter Force their executors adminis- 
tra[tors] or assigns jointly and severally, and all profits arising 
from any sale thereof or future publications or editions of the 
said work are to be at the joint expence and for the joint profit 
and advantage of the said Robert Strange and Peter Force their 
executors administrators and assigns. And it is farther agreed 
that the said Peter Force will and hath advanced immediately to 
the said Robert Strange Six Hundred dollars in anticipation of 
the profits of the said publication ; and if it shall so happen that 
in twelve months from the date hereof the one half of the profits 
of the said publication shall not equal the said sum of six hundred 
dollars then the said Robert Strange shall return to the said 
Peter Force so much of the said six hundred dollars as may ex- 
ceed the said one half of the said profits with interest thereon 
from the date. 

And the said Peter Force doth farther agree to render to the 
said Robert Strange semiannually a statement of the expences, 
receipts and contracts he may have made on account of said 
publication during the existence of the said copy right unless all 
transactions in relation thereto may be sooner finally closed. 

And it is farther understood that the name of the said Robert 
Strange shall not be known as the author of the said work until 
his consent thereto shall be freely given. 

And the said Peter Force doth farther agree to pay over semi- 
annually to the said Robert Strange any portion of profits to 
which he may be entitled under the foregoing agreement. 5 

The expectations of pecuniary reward and, one can believe, of 
personal acclaim if the book met with critical favor were never 
realized. Even while the book was at the printers, Strange's 
political fortunes had suffered a reversal which made the appear- 
ance of any novel, especially one as clear in many of its purposes 
as Eoneguski, sl somewhat embarrassing event. 

6 Manuscript insertion in volume I of Eoneguski, New Yorl? Public Library, 

4 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Strange had been elected to the Senate by the state legislature 
on December 3, 1836, barely winning by a vote of sixty-one to 
fifty-eight over Judge Thomas Settle. When as a Democratic 
Senator he took his seat on December 5, 1836, he succeeded 
Judge Willie P. Mangum, who had previously resigned because 
of his inability to approve certain legislative mandates consci- 
entiously. In that day it was the custom for the United States 
Senators from North Carolina to follow implicitly whatever 
"instructions" were received from the state legislature. If any 
Senator felt he could not do so, it was expected of him by both 
the legislature and the people of the state that he resign immedi- 
ately. All this was clearly understood by Strange when he ac- 
cepted the office of Senator, and his first two years seem to have 
passed quietly enough. In 1838, however, when along with Bed- 
ford Brown, the other Senator from North Carolina, he voted to 
expunge the anti-Jackson resolutions from the Senate journal, 
the North Carolina legislature, now controlled by the Whigs and 
most assuredly not pro-administration, thought it time to let the 
Senators know its wishes. The Whigs had not forgotten the man- 
ner in which their political colleague Judge Mangum had been 
deprived of his seat only two years before and they did not wish 
to resort to a practice which they had previously denounced. They 
therefore adopted, on December 4, 1838, certain "resolutions" 
condemning the expunging act and the administration policies in 
general. Strange and Brown replied that the "resolutions" were 
not "instructions," that their course of action was clear, and that 
they awaited further "instructions." The legislature would not 
be more definite but stated that the import of the resolutions was 
simple enough. Strange and Brown kept their seats. 6 

8 When Strange finally resigned on June 30, 1840, he gave a full explanation of his actions. 
"I was well convinced that I could not with propriety treat the resolutions as instructions, 
and so respectfully informed the legislature, requesting, at the same time, that if I was 
wrong, I might be set right. My conclusion, if wrong, was not corrected, and I might have 
contented myself in my position until its term expired. But I knew the public mind was 
much stirred concerning the doctrine of instructions, and that ungenerous persons would, 
notwithstanding the pains I had taken to set myself right, impugn to me the design of 
holding under constitutional forms a place for which, according to its spirit and substance, 
I was unfit. It had been said by high authority that I was supporting an administration to 
which my constituents were opposed. I am among: the last men to question the representa- 
tive character of our government, or to deny to the people the right of setting up and pull- 
ing down at pleasure, and I would sooner perish than avail myself of a position in which 
their generous confidence had placed me to thwart their wishes. Believing that the Legisla- 
tive elections had not taken place in reference to any such result, and that the appointment 
of my successor could not be made in conformity to the expressed wishes of the people, my 
immediate resignation would not have secured obedience to their will. But, I determined and 
accordingly promised to resign in time for the people to avail themselves of the first occasion 
of indicating their choice of a Senatorial representative. That pledge in now redeemed. I re- 
turn to private life. . . ." Letter quoted in Daily State Chronicle (Raleigh), Jan. 13, 1891. 

Senator Strange's Indian Novel 5 

The reaction of the public press was immediate and violent; 
it almost universally comdemned the senators for their failure to 
follow the wishes of the legislature. The Raleigh newspapers 
were solidly against the Senators, 7 and Strange was denied sup- 
port even in his own locality. An editorial in the Fayetteville 
Observer of January 16, 1839, stated : 

We have as yet no information of the course our Senators in 
Congress mean to pursue. They are still in their seats, officiating 
as the Senators of North Carolina, and unquestionably misrepre- 
senting the State, according to every test to which her opinions 
have been subjected. Their conduct is remarked upon with much 
severity, as well in other States as our own, both in regard to the 
letter written to the Legislature, and to the tenacity with which 
they hold on to their seats, nothwithstanding their pledges. . . . 
It is said, by those who have undoubted sources of information, 
that Judge Strange, who made this pledge [to 'bid adieu to these 
halls'] in a speech delivered in the Senate during the last session, 
has never believed in the doctrine of Instructions. Nothwith- 
standing this fact, he certainly accepted the office made vacant 
in pursuance of instructions, well knowing that to be a prominent 
doctrine of his party. . . . 

Strange was alarmed by this unlucky turn of events, particu- 
larly so just at the time Eoneguski was due to appear ; but he re- 
tained his seat and, as much as he could, tried to pacify the state 
press in their denunciations. In February he sent certain public 
documents to the angry editor of the Hillsborough Recorder, 8 but 
this gesture apparently was insufficient to provide a change of 
sentiment, for on March 21 the Recorder reprinted the accusing 
speech delivered in the North Carolina house of commons, 
December 14, 1838, on the resolutions to the Senators in Con- 

As if all this were not sufficiently disturbing to the aspira- 
tions of the new novelist, another consideration presented itself 
for further embarrassment. In championing the cause of the 
Indian in North Carolina, Strange had gone against the accepted 
principles of his own Democratic party. Already in trouble with 
the Whigs at home, he would appear, to politically minded read- 
ers of Eoneguski, a man who had rejected the policies of Jackson, 

7 Raleigh Star and North Carolina Gazette, January 9, 1839; Raleigh Register, February 4, 
February 11, May 4, 1839. 

8 February 28, 1839. 

6 The North Carolina Historical Review 

whom recently he had so staunchly defended. But when he had 
written his book, no other view of the Indian dispossessions could 
have been taken by the tender-hearted Senator. 

The treaty of New Echota, signed in 1835 and proclaimed in 
1836, had provided for the Cherokee removal to the West. As 
the treaty was agreed upon by fewer than 500 Indians in a popu- 
lation of 16,000 Cherokees, many politicians considered it unjust 
and publicly denounced it. In a way the treatment of the Indians 
became a point of dissension between the two major parties, the 
Democrats upholding the action of President Jackson and the 
Whigs under Henry Clay's leadership denouncing it. But 
Strange's sympathies for the suffering and duped Indians had 
long years ago been formed. Even as he was completing his novel, 
the final cruel rounding up of the Cherokees was progressing. 
Almost 17,000 Indians of various tribes had been apprehended — 
some without warning — and driven like cattle into numerous 
stockades. In June, 1838, in the very moments when Strange was 
correcting his manuscript for the publisher, the first of the final 
Indian treks to the West had begun, the last march being on 
December 4 of that year. Some had escaped to the mountain 
fastnesses, but the tales of human sorrow and personal degrada- 
tion had steeled the compassionate heart of the Senator. 

There was little feeling of kindness for the Indians among the 
people of North Carolina. The local presses were crammed with 
accounts of Indian massacres and stories of horror and murder. 
Fear of the Indians was indeed still prevalent among those who 
were settling the mountain areas. Instead of any feeling of grief 
for these aborigines of the state, North Carolinians were pri- 
marily concerned with the disposal of the public lands which 
their removal would release. 

The early months of 1839 were, therefore, surely unpropitious 
for the publication of a novel like Eoneguski by one in Strange's 
shoes. Out of favor with a state legislature that felt accountable 
for his actions in Congress, liable for misunderstanding by a 
political party which would have considered his Indian views 
incompatible with the party policies, and expressive of a sym- 
pathy not widely held by his constituents, Strange must have 
anticipated the appearance of his novel somewhat apprehen- 
sively, even with its anonymous authorship. 

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(From University of North Carolina Library) 
Title Page of "Eoneguski" 

Senator Strange's Indian Novel 7 

In addition to these considerations, the novel was a new un- 
tested medium for Strange, who was regarded as an accom- 
plished literary amateur in his day. Sabin 9 lists eleven of his 
addresses printed between 1826 and 1853. John H. Wheeler 10 thus 
comments on Strange: 

As a writer he has often appeared before the public. His style 
is highly imaginative; his taste, chastened by an intimate ac- 
quaintance with the most approved authors of the language in 
every age, is classic and beautiful. His eulogy upon Judge Gaston 
cannot but affect the heart, improve the feelings, and delight the 
mind of all who may have the pleasure to read it. 

Strange was a poet too. Mrs. Mary Bayard Clarke included ten 
of his poems in her edition of North Carolina verse. 11 They bore 
such titles as "The Smile of Love," "The Music of the Heart," 
and "The Lost Pleiad," and are rather tenderly sentimental and 
undistinguished. Here is the opening stanza of "The Rose-Bud of 
North Carolina": 

Would you gather a garland of beauty bright? 
You should wander at dawn, or by pale moonlight, 
While the breeze is fresh on the opening flowers, 
Or their leaves are moist with the dewy showers; 
One Rose you should gather, and gladly entwine her, 
The soft opening Rose-bud of North Carolina. 12 

With Eoneguski Strange entered the professional world of 
letters, albeit anonymously. It was necessary to extend his talents 
beyond the oratorical effusions and poetic ditties which had 
brought him a mild literary prominence among his friends. He 
met the challenge with all his abilities and natural gifts. Though 
Eoneguski cannot be called a work of genius, Strange wove a 
narrative immensely curious in detail and exciting in plot. Since 
the novel is not readily obtainable, it is well to review here its 
events in full outline. 

In an introduction, signed simply "An American," the author 
relates that a few years ago, while travelling through the western 

9 B^'bliotheca Americana, XXIV, 92-93. 

10 Wheeler, Historical Sketches of North Carolina, II, 130. 
^Wood-Notes (Raleigh: Warren L. Pomeroy, 1854), II, 74-92. 
12 Wood-Notes, II, 77. 

8 The North Carolina Historical Review 

part of North Carolina, he stopped at a small village on the 
southwestern side of the Tennessee River and inquired of his 
host if there were in the neighborhood any works of art or nature 
to interest the stranger. The author was told that nearby there 
was an Indian mound as well as the Falls of the Sugar Town 
Fork, and was directed to the home of one who would be able to 
tell him the legendary lore of the surrounding area, a certain 
McDonald, "the clerk of the court — a scholar, a gentleman/' 13 On 
a visit to the Falls, McDonald asked if the traveller had seen the 
plain black cross in the graveyard at the nearby Indian village of 
Tesumtoe. The complicated tale which followed is a recounting 
of the events with which the cross was concerned. 

After the opening up to white settlers of those regions west 
of the Blue Ridge, one of the first to venture into the new coun- 
try was Robert Aymor, a stern, gaunt, intelligent mountaineer, 
more than fifty years of age at the time of the story. He occupied 
a log cabin in the valley of Homony Creek, a stream emptying 
into the French Broad River from the west. By his wife Dolly 
Hays, a rude, obese, and rather dull woman, he had become the 
father of more than a dozen children, of whom the eldest was 
Gideon Aymor, "A little more than a score of years" 14 of age. 
Atha, his sister, was a few years younger. 

Into their home one snowy night came an Indian, who was 
allowed to eat and sleep by the fire in accordance with the moun- 
tain code of hospitality. During his prolonged stay, Eoneguski or 
the Big Bear was told of affairs in the Aymor household. It 
seemed that some time before, Atha's hand in marriage had been 
requested by John Welch, the adopted son of neighbors but one 
who was known to have Indian blood in his veins. When Robert 
Aymor refused the suit, Welch had departed the home of his 
foster parents. In turn, Eoneguski revealed that he was then on 
a mission to take the life of Welch, who had retreated to the 
Cherokee country and slain a warrior of Eoneguski' s tribe — a 
crime which demanded a life for a life. He also disclosed that he 
had been the one who had once interceded for the life of Robert 
Aymor when he had been captured by the Indians during Ruther- 
ford's campaign of retaliation in 1776. Mutual recognition re- 

13 Eoneguski, I, iv. 

14 Eoneguski, I, 17. 

Senator Strange's Indian Novel 9 

suited. Eoneguski announced the abandonment of his intention to 
kill Welch, and Aymor agreed to the marriage of Atha and 
Welch. Eoneguski then asked Gideon, with whom he had formed 
a friendship, to accompany him home to Eonee, the village of his 
father the Cherokee chief Eonah, in order to visit Robert Ay- 
mor's old friend and to locate John Welch. With reluctance 
Robert Aymor agreed to let his son go. 

At this point the narrative reverts to the adventures of John 
Welch, who had travelled to the land of the Cherokees to find his 
real parents and to settle permanently. There at Sugar Town he 
had been welcomed at the home of the chief, Santuchee or the 
Panther, who now quite old was spending his declining years in 
grief because of his son Cheasquah's unrevenged murder by the 
Leech, a member of an adjoining tribe. Welch was urged to carry 
out this revenge by Santuchee, who promised him subsequent 
adoption and the succeeding chieftainship of the tribe. Another 
who desired the revenge was the villainous Chuheluh or the Fox, 
rival of Eonah and Eoneguski. With the Cherokee prophet and 
medicine man, Susquanannacunahata or the Long Blanket, Chu- 
heluh plotted to drive Welch to the deed. This was accomplished ; 
and directed by Chuheluh, Welch fled the territory, closely fol- 
lowed by Eoneguski, who had taken upon himself the further 
revenge of his slain tribesman, the Leech. The two successfully 
eluded Eoneguski, but Welch finally became ill when they had 
arrived at the crest of the Blue Ridge beyond Grandfather Moun- 
tain near the home of the Irishman Dr. Jonathan Wooddie, a 
blacksmith and physician. After Welch's recovery he returned to 
the valley of the Homony, always eluding the pursuing Eonegu- 
ski, not aware that shortly thereafter Eoneguski had abandoned 
his purposes. 

On their way to the Cherokee territory, Eoneguski and Gideon 
followed the road from Asheville to Waynesville, which was 
crowded on this day with Indians and mountain folk who had 
come to town for the "County Court (or as it is called in the 
statutes, the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions) for Haywood 
County." 15 The temple of law "was a coarse building, consisting 
of unplaned boards loosely put together, and scarcely serving to 
defend either priests or worshippers from sun, wind, rain, or 

15 Eoneguski, I, 197. 

10 The North Carolina Historical Review 

snow." 16 The crudeness of the court procedure, the drunkenness 
and ignorance of the itinerant lawyers, Rowell, Smoothly, and 
Johns, and the general indignity of the entire court receive 
venomous satire from the author. After the court was dissolved, 
"The balance of the day was spent in horse racing, fighting, and 
other kindred amusements, with which most of the inhabitants of 
Waynesville and its vicinity were wont to beguile their idle 
hours." 17 

As Gideon and Eoneguski resumed their journey, they crossed 
Richland Creek, followed the course of Scott's Creek, passed the 
Tuckasege River, and finally arrived at the valley of the Tennes- 
see. On viewing some Indian mounds, Gideon asked Eoneguski 
the origin of these piles, but the Indian professed his ignorance 
and his further belief that they were erected by tribes who in- 
habited the region before the Cherokees. 

On their arival at Eonee, the travellers found Eonah to be very 
ill, and a quarrel ensued between the old chief and Eoneguski 
over the latter' s failure to consummate revenge for the Leech's 
death. The two friends then journeyed to Tesumtoe, "a village 
near the head of one of the forks of the Tennessee River," 18 south 
of Eonee (the present site of Franklin) with Sugar Town in 
between. There in the house of the half-breed Yenacona they met 
Little Deer, the Indian maiden beloved by Eoneguski, who ex- 
plained that Yenacona was the half-sister of Little Deer's full- 
blooded father, Ooconoota. Gideon and Little Deer immediately 
fell in love with each other; and though Gideon realized the 
betrayal of his friend Eoneguski, the two lovers were encouraged 
by Yenacona, who had inherited the Catholic faith from her 
white mother and did not wish her niece to marry a pagan. 

Eoneguski was recalled to the death-bed of Eonah and pro- 
claimed by Susquanannacunahata as the succeeding chief of the 
village. On his return to Tesumtoe, Eoneguski was treated coolly 
by Yenacona and Little Deer, who had been apprised that John 
Welch was the son of Yenacona and that his life was being 
sought by Eoneguski. 

Yenacona then told her story to Gideon. She was the daughter 
of Attacallaculla, son of the chieftian Moytoy, and Maria, a white 

16 Eoneguski, I, 197. 

17 Eoneguski, I, 209. 

18 Eoneguski, II, 23. 

"Myrtle Hill," Home of Robert Strange 

as it Looks Today. Site is Several Miles 

North of Fayetteville, Just Off 

Highway 15-A. 

Senator Strange's Indian Novel 11 

girl whose life had been saved by Attacallaculla. After Yena- 
cona's birth, her mother had escaped to Charleston when Atta- 
callaculla wished to marry another wife, an Indian woman. Yena- 
cona followed her mother and at Charleston was reared in cul- 
tured society and in the Catholic faith. There she fell in love with 
and married Israel De Lisle, a Frenchman of high birth, and 
they soon journeyed to the Indian country, where De Lisle was 
sent by the British to stir up the bordering Indian tribes against 
the patriot Americans. In a battle De Lisle was killed, Yenacona's 
son Oocomoo (John Welch) disappeared, and Yenacona, after 
years of dejection, took upon herself the training and upbringing 
of Little Deer. She had never ceased to hope, however, that her 
son might be found, and urged Gideon to return to the Homony 
and make a diligent search for Oocomoo. 

After a short visit to the Homony, Gideon returned to the 
Cherokee lands as a guide for his father's old craven friend, 
Thompson, now in the guise of an itinerant Methodist preacher, 
though actually a British agent to woo the Cherokees to the side 
of the English in the approaching struggle of 1812. On the way 
they met Eoneguski at the autumn celebration of the Green Corn 
Feast. 19 When they arrived at Tesumtoe, Gideon resumed his 
courtship of Little Deer, encouraged by Thompson. The agent 
wished to influence the Indians through Gideon, who on his 
marriage would be chief of Tesumtoe. Meanwhile, Thompson 
had been rebuffed by Eoneguski, who clearly believed that the 
best interests of the Cherokees would be served by their taking 
sides with the troops of the White Father in Washington. 

The Shawnee chief, Tecumseh, visited Eoneguski in order to 
persuade the Cherokees to join the British against the Ameri- 
cans. Gaining several Cherokee warriors but not Eoneguski nor 
the entire Cherokee nation, Tecumseh left for Tookabatcha (Ala- 
bama), where the Creeks had set up their headquarters under 
Weatherf ord and the Little Warrior. 

Eoneguski joined his forces with those of the Overhill Chero- 
kee chief, Pathfinder, though the entire army was under the 
command of Andrew Jackson. An assault was made against the 
Creeks at Tohopeka, a bend in the Tallapoosa River, with Jack- 
son's troops attacking down the peninsula and Eoneguski's war- 

19 Eoneguski, II, 138-143. 

12 The North Carolina Historical Review 

riors swimming to the extremity of the bend and, by releasing 
the canoes there, cutting off the retreat of the Creeks. 20 

In the treaty following the battle of Tohopeka, though Eonegu- 
ski and his Cherokees had fought for the victorious Americans, 
the valley of the Tennessee River was taken from the tribe by 
Jackson himself. "Scarcely had the treaty been signed which as- 
certained the territorial rights of the Cherokee Indians, when the 
covetous eyes of the neighboring white people were fixed upon 
the fairest portion of their possessions, and commissioners were 
appointed to negotiate for a purchase. The sad experience of past 
times filled Eoneguski with the most painful forebodings of the 
result. To negotiate had been, in the history of the intercourse 
between the white and the red men, but a term to express less 
harshly a declaration, on the part of the former what lands they 
wanted of the latter; the price they were willing to pay; and 
their determination to have them at that price, 'peaceably if they 
could, forcibly if they must.' The village of his birth ; the Scene 
of his early sports ; of his youthful affections ; of his manly trials ; 
the hearthstone ; the tombs ; the ashes of his fathers ; were all in- 
cluded in the present demand. With a prophetic eye he saw them 
already surrendered to the relentless grasp of the stranger, and 
the simple red men abandoning, in bitterness of soul, the homes 
of their fathers, which they ardently desired, but wanted the 
sagacity to retain." 21 The Indians indeed received poor reward 
for their loyalty to the mountain settlers. 

The concluding events are sketched briefly. Dr. Wooddie at- 
tended the marriage of John Welch and Atha Aymor on the 
Homony; and Aymor's second daughter married Lawyer Johns. 
Robert Aymor "still dwells on the Homony. As a hero of two 
wars, he was elected to represent his county in the General As- 
sembly, where he was also chosen a Brigadier General of the 
State militia." 22 When the Cherokees were driven to the Far 
West, Gideon and Little Deer, and Atha Aymor and Welch (now 
Chief Oocomoo) were with them. Eoneguski, who never married, 
bought land along the Oconalufty and settled there with a small 
group of his tribe, "upwards of a hundred." 23 

20 This action is generally assigned troops under Junaluska, who does not figure in this 

21 Eoneguski, II, 185. 

22 Eoneguski, II, 192-193. 

23 Eoneguski, II, 196. 

Senator Strange's Indian Novel 13 

At the time when Strange projected and wrote this intricate 
and ambitious Indian novel, the vogue for such writing was at 
its height. James Fenimore Cooper had popularized the genre 
with The Last of the Mohicans in 1826 ; and somewhat later in 
1835 William Gilmore Simms had published The Yemassee, which 
focused attention on the rich unused Indian material in the 
South. Strange had evidently been influenced by the success of 
this type of fiction, and in Eoneguski he undoubtedly hoped for 
similar popular applause. He did not possess, however, the per- 
ceptive artistry of either Cooper or Simms, whose use of histori- 
cal material was in the broad panorama of the narrative back- 
ground and whose characters, if they were actual, were either of 
minor importance of in the dim past. With a bluntness which is 
amazing Strange selected his characters from persons whom he 
had known and about whom he had heard, many of them still 
living when the novel appeared. The events were chosen from 
occurrences of which a few were not even concluded. It was a 
bold stroke but an extremely dangerous one, for contemporaries 
could easily recognize most of the characters under their masks. 
The names, even, were only slightly disguised ; and John Welch, 
one of the principal figures, marched courageously forth in the 
novel without any masquerade at all. 

The historical events which Strange portrayed in the novel are 
not only few but speedily related. Except for the essential cir- 
cumstances of the relationship between Indians and white set- 
tlers in the western part of North Carolina in the opening years 
of the nineteenth century, the historical incidents are not par- 
ticularly germane to the plot-thread of the narrative. Though 
the supposed visit of Tecumseh is given a broadly romantic 
treatment, actually it furthers the story but little. It is in the 
battle of Tohopeka that Strange draws most upon history. There 
he introduces Andrew Jackson, Pathfinder, Weatherford, and 
the Little Warrior — the last three well-known Indian fighters — 
but they are seen only briefly. The battle is described with 
sufficient accuracy, though with Eoneguski receiving the role 
usually given Junaluska. The cessions of Indian lands described 
by Strange must have been in either 1817 or 1819. The Indian 
removals, as has been pointed out, were even closer to the time of 
the composition of the novel. The choice, then, of historical back- 

14 The North Carolina Historical Review 

ground was artistically acceptable. It was in the selection of char- 
acters that Strange was liable to be misunderstood. 

Strange drew the title-character of Eoneguski from a life- 
portrait of the most prominent chief of the East Cherokees, 
Yonaguska or Drowning Bear. 24 He had probably met the Indian 
during his tours of the region as superior court judge. 25 Noted 
for his efforts to remain peaceful with the white settlers, Yona- 
guska would certainly have attracted the attention of the un- 
contentious jurist, who set him forth in the novel with little 
alteration except for those deviations which are necessary for 
the romanticist. The chieftian was known variously as Yonahe- 
quah, Yonanaqua, and Yonah. As he was born about 1759 and 
was seventeen during Rutherford's campaign in 1776, he was 
thus old enough to have saved the life of "Robert Aymor" at that 
time. As chief he had succeeded Yanegwa, or Big Bear, a name 
which Strange either purposely or erroneously used as his trans- 
lation of "Eoneguski." Remarkably handsome, some six feet six 
inches tall, he once headed a delegation of Cherokees to Washing- 
ton in order to present the Indians' problems to government of- 
ficials; and there is a tradition that in the capital city he ap- 
peared before John C. Calhoun, who was much impressed by the 
chieftain. Though Yonaguska desired peaceful relations with the 
whites, he repeatedly refused to move to the West. One of his 
preserved speeches, confirming his intention to remain in North 
Carolina, proves his reputation as an orator. A portion of the 
discourse will remind readers of Eoneguski of some of Strange's 

As to the white man's promises of protection, they have been too 
often broken; they are like the reeds in yonder river — they are 
all lies. North Carolina has acknowledged our title to these lands, 

24 For biographical data see John Preston Arthur, Western North Carolina (Raleigh: 
Edwards & Broughton, 1914), 573-574; Theodore F. Davidson, Reminiscences and Traditions 
of Western North Carolina (Asheville: Service Printing Company, [1928]), 8-10: Charles 
Lanman, Letters from the Alleghany Mountains (New York: Putnam, 1849), 106-114; James 
Mooney, Myths of the Cherokee (Government Printing Office, 1900), 162-164; Douglas L. 
Rights, The American Indian in North Carolina (Duke University Press, 1947), 203-205; 
Wheeler, Historical Sketches of North Carolina, II, 205-206: Wilbur G. Zeigler and Ben S. 
Grosscup, The Heart of the Alleghanies (Raleigh: Alfred Williams, 1883), 33-35. 

25 "Judge Strange took such interest in this old chief that he recorded his traditions in [ ?] 
a novel, laying its scenes in the Cherokee Nation. He tried to name his book that of the 
name of this old Indian Chief Eona-Guskah — but misnamed it Yona Gusta." Silas McDowell 
to L. C. Draper, North Carolina Papers, Draper MS, State of Wisconsin Historical Society, 
KK 57, June 17, 1873. 

"I don't know at what time the name of Yona Guskee had ceased [?] to be mentioned, and 
the first I heard of it was when one of our Judges — to wit — the Hon Robert Strange was 
collecting material for his novel — Yona Gustee." Draper MS, State of Wisconsin Historical 
Society. KK 68, October 8, 1873. 

Flat Gravestone in Family Burial Plot 
at Myrtle Hill 

Senator Strange's Indian Novel 15 

and the United States has guarantied that title ; but all this did 
not prevent the Government from taking away our lands by 
force; and, not only that, but sold the very cow of the poor In- 
dian and his gun, so as to compel him to leave the country. Is this 
what the white man calls justice and protection? No, we will not 
go to the West. We wanted to become the children of North 
Carolina, and she has received us as such, and passed a law for 
our protection, and we will continue to raise our corn in this 
very land. The people of Carolina have always been very kind to 
us, and we know they will never oppress us .... I always advise 
my people to keep their backs for ever turned towards the setting 
sun, and never to leave the land of their fathers. I tell them they 
must live like good citizens ; never forget the kindness of North 
Carolina, and always be ready to help her in time of war. 26 

Yonaguska was indeed willing to help in time of war, 27 but he 
never moved to the West. He remained with the remnants of his 
people, was universally beloved by them, and governed them as a 
father. Some time before his death he removed to the valley of the 
Soco, 28 where he died in April, 1839. He left two wives, a Negro 
slave named Cud jo, and considerable property. He had previous- 
ly turned over the chieftainship to his adopted white son, Colonel 
William Holland Thomas. In 1848 Lanman stated that his grave 
was marked by a pile of stones on the margin of the Soco, 29 and 
Mooney placed it about a mile below the old Macedonia mission 
there, 30 but the exact spot is not now known. 

The historical character of Yonaguska is thus preserved in 
Strange's Eoneguski but only so far as the purposes of the ro- 
mantic novelist allowed. There is no mention of his wives, and 
no mention of Thomas, though Strange must surely have known 
of both. Omitted also in the novel are two of the three most often 
related episodes in the life of Yonaguska — his suspicion of mis- 
sionaries and the Bible, and his establishment of a temperance 
society for his people. Of the third, however, Strange made use 
as the very backbone of his plot. This concerned Yonaguska's 
pursuit of John Welch, his subsequent abandonment of the 

26 Lanman, Letters from the Alleghany Mountains, 109-110. 

27 Records in the Adjutant General's office of the War Department "show that Yonahaquah, 
surname also shown as Yonohaqua, served in the War of 1812 as a 1st corporal in Capt. 
James Brown's Company of Cherokee Warriors of the Cherokee Regiment commanded by 
Colonel Gideon Morgan, Jr. His service commenced 7 October 1813 and ended 6 January 
1814. This organization was on an Expedition against the hostile Creeks. The records do not 
show in what battles he participated." — Letter from Edward F. Witsell, Major General, dated 
28 May 1947. This evidence denies Yonaguska's officially taking part in the Battle of 
Tohopeka, fought in March, 1814. 

28 Within the present area of the Cherokee Reservation in Swain County, North Carolina. 

29 Letters from the Alleghany Mountains, 110. 

30 Myths of the Cherokee, 163. 

16 The North Carolina Historical Review 

search, and his later return to his tribe. Unhesitantly calling it 
a "tradition," Theodore F. Davidson told the story as he remem- 
bered hearing it in his younger years : 

Among the Cherokees, the law of "next of kin" prevailed, un- 
der which it was the solemn duty of those of nearest blood to 
punish the murderer of one of the clan or family. This was held 
so sacred that a failure to avenge the crime was regarded as an 
unforgivable offence. One John Welch, a French half-breed, kill- 
ed Eoneguski's brother in a drunken brawl on head of Valley 
River, and knowing the fate likely to follow, fled across the 
mountains to the Indian settlements in what is now East Tennes- 
see. Eoneguski at once pursued, but Welch, getting information, 
again fled back across the Appalachians to the settlements 
around the head of the Savannah River. There he apparently was 
secure, for a time, and became acquainted with the family of a 
frontiersman named Blythe, who had a beautiful daughter named 
Bettie. She and Welch loved and agreed to marry, but before 
the marriage, a rumor was heard that Eoneguski was seen in the 
forest fringing the settlement. Everyone knew what that por- 
tended for Welch. Bettie, however, was reluctant to give up her 
lover. By some means she located the pursuer and arranged a 
meeting with him ; it took place in the deep forest — none but the 
blood avenger and the girl being present. Oh, for a Scott to de- 
scribe the scene ! Bettie with tears streaming told Eoneguski how 
much she loved Welch ; that her happiness depended upon his life 
and their marriage; and throwing herself at his feet implored 
him to forego his vengeful purpose. The warrior stood silent and 
apparently as unresponsive as one of the great trees that sur- 
rounded them, but after a moment's contemplation of the weep- 
ing figure at his feet, threw his rifle on his shoulder and utter- 
ing a significant "Uh!" turned on his feet and disappeared. 
Welch and Bettie married; acquired a valuable farm on Valley 
River in Cherokee County ; raised a large and respectable family. 
The writer has often been in Bettie's house, when she was an old 
but still handsome woman; and some of her children were his 
schoolmates. 31 

The Strange variations of the incident are remarkably slight. In 
Eoneguski the murderer fled east instead of west, and Atha 
Aymor conveniently assumed the role of Bettie Blythe. Arthur, 
in recounting the episode in his Western North Carolina, had 
Welch going to the New Found Range west of Asheville, thence 
to Pickens, South Carolina, where he met a Betty Bly. 32 At any 

31 Reminiscences and Traditions of Western North Carolina, 8-9. 

32 Western North Carolina, 573-574. Col. Allen T. Davidson is cited as authority. 

Senator Strange's Indian Novel 17 

rate, the set of events provided the novelist with an opportunity 
for broad fictional treatment, and he used it for all its worth. 

Among the other Indians whom Strange mentioned were Moy- 
toy, "a Cherokee Chief recognized by the English as 'emperor' in 
1730," 33 and Attakullakulla, or Little Carpenter, son of Moytoy 
and grand chief of the Cherokees, who was noted for his friend- 
ship with the white colonists. 34 The brief appearances of Path- 
finder, Weatherford, and Little Warrior have already been cited. 
Yenacona seems to be in part only the fictional counterpart of an 
actual Indian half-breed by the name of Nancy Ward. Mooney 35 
states that she was of considerable political importance in the 
tribe, that she was "queenly and commanding," and that she 
lived in a dignified home corresponding to her personal nobility. 
She was the daughter of a British officer and the sister of At- 
takullakulla. In the Strange novel, Attakullakulla becomes her 
father and she loses her English name ; but otherwise the known 
facts of Nancy Ward are contained in the romantic portrait of 

Of the white characters in Eoneguski, John Welch, as has been 
noted, was most faithfully extracted from the stories which 
Strange had heard. In addition to using Welch's actual name, 
Strange apparently invented Israel Le Lisle to account for 
Welch's French parentage. Yenacona, by now, has become 
Welch's mother — a connection which served well the purpose of 
a romantic novelist. 

In the introduction, the character of McDonald is, of course, 
Strange's portrayal of Silas McDowell. 36 At the time when 
Strange was riding the superior court circuit, McDowell was 
clerk of court of Macon County. His biographers reveal that he 
had a literary as well as a legal and scientific mind. It was only 
natural that Strange was attracted to one who could tell him the 
history and legends of the regions, and we can be sure that 
McDowell was responsible for much of the background which 
Strange later employed. In his introduction Strange repaid much 
of this debt of gratitude. His brief encounter with "McDonald" 

33 Mooney, Myths of the Cherokee, 526. 

34 Mooney, Myths of the Cherokee, 42. 

35 Mooney, Myths of the Cherokee, 203-204. 

36 Biographical material in Arthur, Western North Carolina, 427; Davidson, Reminiscences 
and Traditions of Western North Carolina, 19-20; James Wood Davidson, The Living Writers 
of the South (New York: Carleton, 1869), 357-360. See p. 14, n. 25, 

18 The North Carolina Historical Review 

is highly complimentary, one of the most effective portions of the 
novel ; and in all justice to one whom he admired, the author allow- 
ed the mountaineer to be, more or less, the third-person narrator 
of his book. 

The other white characters are more difficult to identify. 
"Aymor" is undoubtedly a free translation of the surname of the 
large and prominent Love family. Though individual matching 
of the character and the man is hazardous, it appears certain 
that Robert Aymor is a partial portrait of Colonel Robert Love 
(1760-1845), who "was on the expedition under Col. Christi in 
1776 against the Cherokees." 37 "In 1778 he was engaged against 
the Chickamauga Indians as colonel of a regiment operating near 
White's fort." 38 "He moved to Buncombe county, N. C, as early 
as 1792, and represented that county in 1793, 1794, 1795 in the 
State Senate." 39 Thus Colonel Love was a far more distinguished 
figure than Strange allowed Robert Aymor to be in Eoneguski, 
and one doubts that Love could have been as pleased with his 
fictional self as must McDowell. Love's wife was Mary Ann Dil- 
lard, daughter of Colonel Thomas Dillard, of Pittsylvania Coun- 
ty, Virginia; 40 and if Colonel Love recognized his own portrait 
disapprovingly, he must have been humiliated when he read what 
Strange had written of his wife, "Dolly Hays." However, the 
dates are too close to be misleading. Aymor was fifty years old 
at the time of the story, he had fought in the Indian campaign of 
1776, and he had been among the first settlers in the newly form- 
ed Buncombe County after it has been opened up. Only his politi- 
cal career is delayed, and even that is mentioned by Strange be- 
fore the novel closes. Robert Love's brother, Thomas Love, was 
likewise a soldier, politician, and frontiersman ; 41 and as he was 
a general instead of a colonel, it may be that the Robert Aymor 
of Eoneguski was a composite of the two brothers. 

If the character of Robert Aymor was somewhat uncompli- 
mentary to the original, one shudders to think what must have 
been the reaction of those itinerant lawyers who sat for the 
verbal snapshots of Rowell, Smoothly, and Johns, who were at- 
tending court at Waynesville. Any one of the three is too clearly 

87 Arthur, Western North Carolina, 124. 

88 Arthur, Western North Carolina, 125. 
30 Arthur, Western North Carolina, 126. 

40 Arthur, Western North Carolina, 125. 

41 Arthur, Western North Carolina, 128-129. 

Senator Strange's Indian Novel 19 

delineated, too painstakingly sketched, too realistically drawn to 
have come springing from the romantic mind of Strange. Their 
prankishness, irresponsibility, drunkenness, and legal ignorance 
are insulting beyond good taste ; and it is surprising that Strange 
did not consider more deeply the indelicacy of such judiciary 
abuse, especially coming from magistrate to advocates. The real 
names of Rowell, Smoothly, and Johns are lost in history, for the 
character studies are far too brief for identification. But that 
they were well-known travelling lawyers at the time of the publi- 
cation of Eoneguski is undoubted; that they must have been 
highly resentful of the personal blast which they received, even 
in a book of fiction, is unquestionable. 

Two other characters are apparently taken from living models, 
the traitor Thompson and the blacksmith-physician Jonathan 
Wooddie, but their identity is lost too. However, sufficient 
damage had been done. North Carolinians have never been quite 
tolerant of the creative writer who makes too free use of his local 
materials, and sincerity has often been mistaken for calumny. 
Commenting on Strange and his public, Archibald Henderson 
remarks: "He wrote the first authentic and interesting novel, 
based on actual incidents, with scenes laid in North Carolina, 
ever published ; but it was, like Thomas Wolfe's Look Homeward, 
Angel, so critical of certain prominent citizens, easily identi- 
fiable from the but slightly veiled names, that it brought down 
upon him a storm of obloquy and was recalled by him from cir- 
culation." 42 

From such causes, this romantic novel of rousing historical 
events and unusual materials was, from the beginning, doomed 
to misunderstanding and eventual indifference and oblivion. To 
Strange's uncomfortable political situation in Washington and 
in North Carolina was added the most certain condemnation by 
those whom he had used as his models. It is surprising that 
Eoneguski was ever published at all. Yet published it was, and 
with the high hopes of its author, if one is to judge from the 
tenor of the contract which Strange had so carefully drawn up. 

Strange must have waited impatiently to learn the verdict of 
the reviewers who would signal his success. But peculiarly 

42 Greensboro Daily News, June 15, 1941. The possibility that Strange recalled the volume 
from circulation is debatable and will be discussed below. 

20 The North Carolina Historical Review 

enough, Eoneguski seems not to have come to the attention of 
many critics. The Democratic Review, monthly political and 
literary journal published in Washington, was encouraging in 
its praise but not enthusiastic: 

Fame as she is for political miracles, the city of Washington 
has never until the present occasion produced the literary wonder 
of a novel. 43 This preeminence, certainly, even if it had no other 
merit, would entitle Eoneguski to some notice at our hands. It is 
an Indian Story, of which the scenery and characters are alike 
original and new to fiction. The light of romance and imagination 
streaming over the picturesque scenery and old story of the 
North, South, East and West, has already kindled a shrine for 
the fancy and affections in every star of the old thirteen, save 
and except North Carolina, and even most of the new sisters of 
our national constellation have had the romance or the legend 
hunter on the banks of their haunted rivers, and over the broad 
expanse of their vast prairies and in the depths of their eternal 
forests. But North Carolina no longer presents the solecism of 
exception, and in the novel before us the author has showed, and 
that really well, that she possesses not merely materials of ro- 
mance rich and sterling as her native gold, but pens capable of 
delineating them with adequate power. We are not disposed to 
look on Eoneguski on this account with the same expectation and 
critical scrutiny that would be excited by a work where the 
"clearing" had been made and the soil perfected by the husband- 
man's art. There is merit in having led the way in such a path — 
in being the pioneer in an untried region, and if there were even 
fewer passages of feeling, descriptive beauty and interesting 
narrative than are to be found scattered with no sparing hand 
over these volumes, we should be inclined to forgive and forget 
even greater faults than they possess for the good service done 
by them in directing attention to a sphere so interesting. . . . 

After a complimentary mention of the introductory passage 
with a quotation from it, the reviewer then gives a synopsis of 
the plot. 

As might be anticipated, a story such as this affords many op- 
portunities for fine descriptive and narrative writing, of which 
the author, indeed, has not failed to avail himself, in proof of 
which we might instance the interview between Tecumseh, who 
has been introduced with signal effect, and Eoneguski, in the 
second volume page 155, and the battle already alluded to, where 
General Jackson drowned in blood the last remnant of the hostile 

One thing is abundantly certain, that the present work is a 
first attempt at this species of composition, and it contains 

43 On this score the reviewer is inaccurate. A novel called What Is Gentility? by Mrs. 
Margaret Bayard Smith (1778-1844) was published in Washington in 1828. 

Senator Strange's Indian Novel 21 

elements of power that a second trial may bring effectively into 
play. We trust the accomplished author will make this attempt 
and that the public will give him the best encouragement to do 
so, by their liberal patronage of the present effort. 44 

Reviews similar to this might have been expected in the other 
principal literary journals of the day, but Eoneguski seems not to 
have been called to their attention. Only a neglectful publisher 
would be responsible for such failure in distribution. Meanwhile, 
in North Carolina the novel apparently was also inadequately 
administered. A notice, titled simply "Eoneguski," appeared in 
the Carolina Watchman (Salisbury) on February 23, 1839: 

We have had great pleasure in perusing a new novel bearing 
this name, lately issued from the press of Peter Force, at Wash- 
ington City, which we think possesses literary merit of a very 
high order. The scene is laid in the Western part of North Caro- 
lina, embracing parts of the counties of Wilkes, Buncombe, Hay- 
wood, Macon, and the new county of Cherokee. The sketches of 
scenery are in a remarkable degree beautiful, distinct and true. 
The characters are strongly marked, and in good keeping, while 
the incidents of the tale are most interesting. The sentiments are 
of a fine philosophical cast, and of a high moral tendency. The 
illustrations are apt and classical. We dislike to make compari- 
sons, but if thorough interest and deep felt delight be any test, 
in this matter, we think this work need fear no contrast with 
Cooper's very best. In our immediate circle, it has been seized and 
devoured with an eagerness, that affords at least, some pre- 
figuring of success: We mean (if we can again lay hands on it) 
to give some extracts to prove what we say. 

The author of Eoneguski is surely a gentleman of taste, learn- 
ing and talent. 45 

The enthusiasm evinced in this announcement is an indication 
of the potential popularity of the book, and there is no mention 
from the editor of the Carolina Watchman that he recognized 
any indelicacy in character portrayals. More important is the 
inference, from the wording of the article, that the copy of Eone- 
guski which the editor had been "perusing" was not, apparently, 
one which had been sent him for review purposes but one which 
he could not now "lay hands on" in order to reprint certain "ex- 

u Democratic Review, V (March, 1839), 340-342. 

45 The Raleigh Register and North-Carolina Gazette of March 18, 1839, and the Fayetteville 
Observer of March 20, 1839, copied this notice, simply citing the Watchman. It was reprinted 
in The News and Observer (Raleigh), July 28, 1940, as an item of historical curiosity. 

22 The North Carolina Historical Review 

tracts." 46 Furthermore, the Fayetteville Observer in Strange's 
own community and the Raleigh Register in the state capital 
were reduced, since they had received no copies of their own, to 
a copying from the Watchman. The other newspapers in North 
Carolina at the time simply ignored the appearance of the novel 
entirely. An enterprising publisher, if he were sufficiently ener- 
getic, would never have permitted such indifference, for the 
papers of that day were only too pleased to give notice to all 
books sent to them. 

Nevertheless, some four months after the publication of Eone- 
guski, all seems to have been progressing somewhat satisfac- 
torily. In a letter dated July 6, 1839, Strange wrote to Peter 
Force : 

With all who have seen it in the State of North Carolina, it has 
taken beyond my most sanguine hopes, and one gentleman of fine 
taste has gone so far as to declare it superior to Cooper's best. 47 

There is no evidence here that reprisals had set in. As a matter 
of fact, it was quite the opposite. It must have been some time 
afterwards that difficulties developed. Just what the explicit 
nature of these difficulties was, cannot be determined. However, 
we have Strange's sanction of the view that it was due to defi- 
cient treatment by his publisher that Eoneguski never reached 
its possible public. In Strange's biography, published in 1852, 
appears this single statement concerning the novel : 

While in the Senate he published a novel called Eonyguskee, 
which competent judges praised as a work of merit, but through 
mismanagement on the part of his publishers, it never obtained 
an extensive circulation in North Carolina, though the edition has 
long since been sold out. 48 

This report, whether accurate or not, is the one which Strange 
wished to be believed; it is even quite likely that he wrote the 

46 On March 22, 1839, the Carolina Watchman, under the heading LITERARY, gave three 
full columns of quotations from Eoneguski. The first quotation was "Atha Aymor's Song" 
beginning "Love slilv weaves his flow'rv chain," the second a prose extract called by the 
THE CHEROKEE CHIEF. Carrying out his previous promise to his readers, the editor of 
the Salisbury paper thus provided them with some of the best portions of the novel. 

47 Manuscript insertion in copy 2 of Eoneguski, University of North Carolina Library. 

48 Livingstone, Biographical Sketches of Eminent American Lawyers, 108. 

Senator Strange's Indian Novel 23 

account himself. At any rate, it had received his approval, for 
he had authenticated the proofs. 49 

By the time Strange had been dead many years, however, the 
notion that the book had been suppressed had gained credulity. 
This conviction seems first to have been expressed by Silas 
McDowell, the "Mr. McDonald" of Eoneguski, in a letter to L. C. 
Draper, 50 dated June 17, 1873 : 

This book was suppressed, not for want of litterary and statistic 
merits, but because the Judge handled without gloves popular 
men in Western Carolina in relation to their treatment of the 
Cherokee Indians. Though his book perished mainly, a few copies 
got afloat and worked all the damage to his popularity that the 
issue of thousands would have effected. ... It would give me 
pleasure if I could procure and send you a copy of Judge 
Strange* s Yona Gusta, as it abounds in valuable Indian legend 
and tradition, and its suppression is a loss to the literary world. 51 

In answer to further inquiry concerning Yonaguska and the 
novel centered about him, McDowell wrote Draper a few months 
later on October 8: 

Strange showed want of discretion in the getting up of his 
book, by which he politically damned himself; and though the 
fact was pointed out to him by his friends before his book was 
generally issued, yet not before his publisher had let slip an 
half dozen copies, and these proved his political ruin. The only 
copy I ever saw was loaned me by Dr. Hardy 52 of Asheville more 
than thirty years ago, and I much question if there is the first 
copy now extant. 53 

As McDowell was seventy-eight at the time he wrote Draper 
this information and admitted that he was drawing upon his 
memory for the data he was imparting, it would be unjust to 

49 Letter from J. W. Strange to his brother Robert, dated from Myrtle Hill, February 27, 
1852. "Papa has been caught in a perfect Yankee trap respecting the publishing of his 
Memoir since he has sent it and his likeness on I have forward to Papa accompanying the 
proof sheet a letter stating that he the editor had forgotten to state that he would be obliged 
to draw on Papa to the small amount of $110 to cover the expenses of the publication I would 
see the concern in Jerico before I would be traped in that way if they had intimated any 
thing of of the kind at first it would have been an other matter but after several letters 
has passed between them and indeed after he had stricken off the proof sheet he suddenly 
awoke with the cry of $110 to defray expenses I am afraid that Papa will send the 
Money. . . ." Robert Strange Papers, Southern Historical Collection, University of North 
Carolina Library. 

50 Lyman Copeland Draper (1815-1891), author of King's Mountain and its Heroes (1881) 
and secretary of the Wisconsin State Historical Society, 1854-1886. 

51 North Carolina Papers, Draper MS, State of Wisconsin Historical Society, KK 57. 

52 Dr. J. F. E. Hardy (1802-1882), physician and landscape architect of Asheville. 

53 Draper MS, KK 68. 

24 The North Carolina Historical Review 

credit him with complete accuracy. Indeed, occasional slips from 
exactness can be noted throughout the letters. Nevertheless, in 
a matter of this sort, where McDowell is not dealing with facts, 
we cannot doubt that at least this version of the fate of Eone- 
guski was the one which he had heard and which was current in 
those years when the novel was being read and discussed. 

In 1895 Shephen B. Weeks, the noted North Carolina bibli- 
ographer, quoted somewhat inaccurately 54 those portions of 
McDowell's letter of June 17 concerning the novel's suppression 
because of the manner in which Strange had handled "popular 
men in Western Carolina in relation to their treatment of the 
Cherokee Indians." Later he appended this note : 

But this hardly seems reasonable for there is nothing in the 
story with which all students are not perfectly familiar & there 
is little denunciation of the whites. It is more probable that of- 
fence was caused by the biting references to the manners & cus- 
toms of the early settlers as portrayed in the court scenes in 

The story is written in the didactic style of the Eighteenth 
Centure &, while full of romantic situations with plenty of action, 
its verve & local color do not redeem it from dullness. 55 

Even if one does not agree with Weeks's opinion as to the 
readability of Eoneguski, the cause he gave for its possible sup- 
pression appears more logical. But Weeks's addendum was never 
published, and subsequent commentators have relied, for the 
most part, on the McDowell extract. 

In 1919 William K. Boyd wrote: 

The relation between the state and the Cherokee Indians was 
the theme for a novel by Senator Robert Strange, entitled "Eone- 
guski" (2 vols., 1839) ; because of severe criticisms of the treat- 
ment of the Indians by prominent white men of western North 
Carolina, the book was suppressed. 56 

In 1928 Theodore F. Davidson echoed these sentiments : 

Its literary merit is not high, but as a picture of the time, region 
and population it is invaluable. For some of his portrayals of 

5i A Bibliography of Historical Literature of North Carolina (Cambridge: Library of 
Harvard University, 1895), 49. 

55 Bibliography of North Carolina. Uncompleted MS in the North Carolina Room, Univer- 
sity of North Carolina Library. 

56 History of Norllc Carolina (Chicago and New York: Lewis, 1919), II, 385. 

Senator Strange's Indian Novel 25 

prominent white settlers, he was much criticized, and he called 
in and suppressed further issues of his book. The original issue 
is now out of print, but is an interesting remnant of the tradi- 
tions of the time and the people. 57 

In 1941 the fullest treatment of the novel since its publication 
was made by Archibald Henderson : 

The novel, written in a somewhat emotional and exalted style, 
is nevertheless a realistic expose of the relations between the 
whites and the Indians. A number of the characters are drawn 
from real life, the prototypes being but thinly distinguished 
("Aymor" for Love, etc.) ; and the author does not mince matters 
in his caustic depiction of some of the leading early settlers, their 
callously cruel treatment of the Cherokee, and rude frontier court 
scenes at Waynesville. The people, and some of their popular 
leaders, who were thus exhibited in a far-from-flattering light, 
registered vehement public protest; and in consequence the 
author suppressed the novel. Eoneguski, which is now very rare, 
is valuable for its local color and the "candid camera" literary 
snapshots of local characters, manners and customs along a 
rough frontier. 58 

To marshall all these opinions into presenting a clear picture 
of just what happened is not an easy task, and it is regrettable 
that additional documentary evidence is not available. Yet, some- 
how, a clear picture emerges, even from the data which we have. 

To begin with, Strange was immensely curious about Indian 
legends and traditions. While a superior court judge in western 
North Carolina, he had an opportunity to collect abundant ma- 
terial which was later used in writing his novel. His sensitive 
nature reacted against the tragic circumstances which he saw 
enveloping the "noble savages," and his romantic mind envision- 
ed them the victims of political maneuvers and rapacious back- 
woodsmen. Too faithful to his materials, he allowed himself 
excessive liberty in portrayals where his imagination was insuf- 
ficient. In addition to this faux pas, he satirized rather unmerci- 
fully those habitues of the western North Carolina law courts 
whom he disliked. When the novel was completed, Strange's de- 
sire for literary recognition was such that he proceeded with 
publication in spite of a difficult political situation in which he 

57 Reminiscences and Traditions of Western North Carolina, 10. 

58 North Carolina. The Old North State and the New (Chicago: Lewis, 1941), II, 690. 

26 The North Carolina Historical Review 

had become involved. He let his contract to a publisher who was 
unfamiliar with the issuance of books of fiction and who appar- 
ently made little effort to promote a wide sale. The first reviews 
were encouraging; but as soon as the identity of certain char- 
acters was established and when the un-Democratic nature of 
his presentation of the Indian problem was discerned, a reaction 
set in. This reaction may have been sufficiently serious for 
Strange to have desired no further distribution of the book. The 
otiosity of an indifferent publisher seemingly made such a move 
unnecessary. Thus Eoneguski went quickly out of circulation be- 
cause of a publisher's apathy and an author's apprehension. 

To a person of Strange's sanguine temperament, however, the 
ill luck of his first novel offered no resignation. Two years before 
his death and more than a decade after the publication of Eone- 
guski and his retirement from the Senate, he wrote his son con- 
cerning those deep-rooted political and literary aspirations which 
were in conflict with his practice of law : 

I am really very desirous to be elected to the Senate and devote 
my life so far as secular matters are concerned to politics and 
literature. In literary pursuits I should be as happy as this world 
can make me. But in our . . . and dry technical profession I 
feel no interest. 59 

But Strange was never to write another novel. Only Eoneguski 
remains by which to judge the first North Carolina novelist. It is 
a creditable production ; but the rarity of the book, ever since its 
publication, has prevented its deserved familiarity and appropri- 
ate regard by the average reader of books. If it did not possess 
the rather questionable virtues of exciting scenes, romantic 
encounters, and last-minute escapes, which are so multitudinous 
in the novels of James Fenimore Cooper and William Gilmore 
Simms, with whose novels Eoneguski cannot escape comparison, 
it does present an honest story in an honest fashion. Perhaps it 
was too sincere in its presentation for the readers of its day, who 
were trained to expect a bevy of romantic heroes and wilting 
heroines as well as a full share of snapped-twig climaxes. It is a 
straightforward narrative, for the most part based on actual 

59 Letter to Robert Strange, Jr., dated January 17, 1852, from Raleigh. Robert Strange 
Papers, Southern Historical Collection. 

Senator Strange's Indian Novel 27 

people and events. More than a century of time has not dimmed 
its appeal, and now more than ever, when there is a great interest 
in the American aborigines and in the early history of North 
Carolina, Eoneguski seems to deserve a popular reading which it 
was not destined to have in the lifetime of its author. The history 
of indigenous fiction in North Carolina did indeed begin on a 
high note. 

By Chambers G. Davidson 

One of the primary reasons for the dearth of county bibli- 
ographies, useful as they admittedly are, is the difficulty in de- 
limitation. If they include everything in any way pertaining to 
the locality the compiler loses interest and the user loses direc- 
tion. It is not necessary that such bibliographies be all-inclusive 
to be serviceable. There are at least four logical bases for delimit- 
ing a county bibliography. Mecklenburg is here chosen as an 
example. Owing to the early emphasis of the Scotch-Irish, who 
settled the county, on education and to the controversy over the 
Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, the county is a gold 
mine for the bibliographer and the collector. The outline here 
suggested, it is believed, can be effectively applied to any county 
in the state. 


Perhaps the most difficult basis for a county bibliography 
would be the most challenging, that is, a chronological list of all 
local imprints. Mecklenburg was comparatively late in setting up 
a press. Salisbury in Rowan began printing in the 1790's and 
Lincolnton, even further west, by 1800. 1 The earliest recorded 
Mecklenburg imprint is advertised in the Catawba Journal 
(Charlotte, N. C.) of March 15, 1825 : Strictures on a piece writ- 
ten by Mr. David Henkel, entitled Heavenly Flood of Regenera- 
tion, or Treatise of Holy Baptism by Joseph Moore, V.D.M. Price 
25^. "Just published and for sale at this office in pamphlet 
form." No copy of this has been located in the North Carolina 
libraries which might be expected to own it nor through the 
Library of Congress Union Catalog. There are, however, copies 
of David Henkel's reply, which leaves no doubt that the original 
pamphlet was printed. 

The earliest extant Charlotte imprint is A Sermon on Atone- 
ment by Samuel C. Caldwell, A.M., the pastor of Sugaw Creek 
Church. This was advertised in the Catawba Journal during 
August, 1825, and a copy is owned by the Presbyterian Histori- 

1 Douglas C. McMurtrie, Eighteenth Century North Carolina Imprints 1749-1800 (Chapel 
Hill, 1938), 145-146, 164. 


Bases for a Mecklenburg Bibliography 29 

cal Society in Philadelphia. It is a pamphlet of eighteen pages. 
Pastor Caldwell was a notable revivalist who made a name for 
himself combatting the deistic heresy of the latter eighteenth 
century. 2 

It is odd that no publications from the semi-centenary cele- 
bration of the Mecklenburg Declaration have come to light. There 
are accounts in the Catawba Journal of 1825 but no reference to 
the printing of separates. The famous "state pamphlet," Docu- 
ments Shewing That Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, De- 
clared Her Independence of Great Britain, May 20, 1775, was, of 
course, printed at Raleigh in 1822. 

Both the Moore and Caldwell pamphlets were printed by 
Lemuel Bingham, editor of the weekly Catawba Journal. This 
journal began publication in Charlotte with the issue of October 
4, 1824, and continued until 1829 when it was moved to Salisbury 
and rechristened The Yadkin and Catawba Journal. Lemuel 
Bingham was the James Davis of Mecklenburg. His imprints 
have not yet attained the "collectors' pride" of those of the 
founder of the North Carolina press but they have almost at- 
tained their rarity. Major Bruce Cotten of Baltimore, owner of 
the best private collection of North Caroliniana, highly prizes 
one of 1826 : Questions on the Assembly's Shorter Catechism, 
Designed to Assist the Youth in Acquiring a Knowledge of the 
Doctrines Taught in that Compend by A. Anderson. 3 

From 1825 on the newspaper presses issued pamphlets for 
individuals, societies, and institutions. The most prolific printer 
was Thomas Jefferson Holden, publisher or part owner succes- 
sively of The Miners and Farmers Journal, The Charlotte Jour- 
nal, and The North Carolina Whig. Holden was a Virginian but 
made his home in Charlotte from sometime in the 1820's until 
his death in 1860. After his death his wife edited the North 
Carolina Whig for two years during the Civil War and has been 
credited with being the first newspaper woman in North Caro- 
lina. 4 

Other ante-bellum presses in Charlotte were those of the Meck- 
lenburg Jeffersonian (established 1841), the Hornets Nest 

2 William Henry Foote, Sketches of North Carolina, Historical and Biographical ( New 
York, 1846), 248. 

3 Bruce Cotten, Housed on the Third Floor (Baltimore, 1941), plate LIV. 

4 D. A. Tompkins, History of Mecklenburg County and the City of Charlotte, from 171*0 to 
1903 (Charlotte, 1903), II, 73-74. 

30 The North Carolina Historical Review 

(1849), The Western Democrat (1852), and the Daily Bulletin 
(1859), and the rare Tobacco Leaf and Cotton Plant Printing 
House of 1860. None of the ante-bellum presses, not even the 
Hornets Nest, appear to have used a colophon on pamphlets. It 
is asserted on competent authority that Charlotte had also the 
Presbyterian Standard (1858) press before the Civil War. 5 This, 
however, is erroneous as that periodical began publication as The 
North Carolina Presbyterian (1858) in Wilmington. Mecklen- 
burg County, including Davidson College, had no magazine until 
after the war. In fact, only thirty magazines have been found for 
the entire state before I860. 6 

After the Civil War, Mecklenburg imprints multiplied rapidly. 
James P. Irwin and D. H. Hill published The Land We Love 
(1866-1869) in attractive format. This monthly, "Devoted to 
Literature and the Fine Arts," became the organ of the unrecon- 
structed rebels and is a sine qua non for any southern collection. 
Smith, Watson and Company published The Davidson Monthly 
(1870-1872), the first, though short-lived, of the many periodi- 
cals from that institution. 

The Observer Printing House (not the Charlotte Observer 
newspaper press) was founded in 1893 and began producing 
creditable books immediately. There is no record at their office 
of the first book printed. This house maintains a complete plant, 
operating linotype department, typesetting and make-up depart- 
ment, press rooms, and bindery. At present it handles about fifty 
publications per year. 7 

During the first two decades of the twentieth century, the 
Stone and Barringer Publishing Company issued a number of 
unusually attractive volumes. Some of them, like the anonymous 
Marguerite, approached the elaborate formate of the ante-bellum 
gift-book. The printing in most cases, however, was not locally 
done. Today Charlotte has at least eighteen active presses, but no 
publishing house. 


A second basis for a Mecklenburg bibliography would be a 
"native son" limitation. Only books by or about Mecklenburgers 

5 Winifred Gregory, ed., Union List of Serials, Second Edition (New York, 1943), 2257. 
8 Gertrude C. Gilmer, Checklist of Southern Periodicals to 1860 (Boston, 1934), 90-91. 
7 W. J. Crichton, Jr., General Manager Observer Printing House, to the author, April 1, 

Bases for a Mecklenburg Bibliography 31 

born would be included, but where they were written or printed 
would be of no significance. The first publication, as far as is 
known, which belongs to this class was written by James Wallis, 
the pastor of New Providence Presbyterian congregation, and 
was printed by Abraham Hodge in Halifax, N. C, in 1797. It 
was a booklet of 115 pages with the modest title: 

The Bible Defended ; being an Investigation of the Misrepresen- 
tations and Falsehoods of Thomas Paine's Age of Reason, Part 
the Second ; wherein also the Evidences of Revealed Religion are 
stated, and the Authenticity and Divine Authority of the several 
Books of the Bible are vindicated. 8 

The Reverend James Wallis was born in Sugaw Creek congre- 
gation, Mecklenburg County, in 1762. He was educated at Liberty 
Hall Academy in Charlotte and served his entire ministry at New 
Providence in his native county. Like his brother-in-law, the 
Reverend S. C. Caldwell, he was in the forefront of the opponents 
of Deism in the Piedmont. Of his booklet, the Reverend William 
Henry Foote wrote fifty years later, "He prepared a pamphlet 
in which were condensed the arguments of Watson, Paley and 
Leslie, and circulated it among his people and through the coun- 
try. A pamphlet as well calculated to produce the effect designed 
— the exhibition of the evidences of revelation in contradistinc- 
tion to all infidel notions — has seldom been issued from the 
press/' 9 

A collection of all publications by and about Mecklenburgers 
by birth would form a very extensive library. Those about whom 
the most has been written did not remain long in Mecklenburg. 
If, despite Marquis James's conclusions, Mecklenburg and not 
South Carolina was the birthplace of President Andrew Jackson, 
a considerable bibliography is provided ready-made. Mr. James 
lists ten biographies of the president and ten pages of bibliogra- 
phy on works relating to him. 10 

There is no doubt of Mecklenburg's claim to James Knox Polk, 
although the eleventh president has evoked considerably less 
enthusiasm from biographers than the seventh. There have been 

8 McMurtrie, North Carolina Imprints, 149. 

9 Foote, Sketches of North Carolina, 249. 

10 Marquis James, The Life of Andrew Jackson (Indianapolis and New York, 1938), 895- 

32 The North Carolina Historical Review 

only four attempts at life histories and only that by Professor 
E. I. McCormac, published in 1922, can be said to be adequate. 11 
Polk's Diary was printed in 1910 in four volumes and there are, 
of course, numerous studies of the Mexican War which relate to 
the politics of his administration. The difficulty in compiling a 
bibliography would come in deciding which of these books relate 
primarily to the President himself. 

The same question of selectivity arises with respect to publica- 
tions concerning two other of Mecklenburg's outstanding native 
sons: Governor Nathaniel Alexander and President Edward K. 
Graham of the State University. In a sense, most of the political 
publications in North Carolina during the years 1805-1807 relate 
to the former and most of the University's publications of 1914- 
1918 to the latter. Of neither has a full length biography yet 
appeared and neither published books. 12 

In the field of divinity any list of Mecklenburg luminaries 
should include Dr. Walter W. Moore (1857-1926), president of 
Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. Although 
born in the county and educated at Davidson College, he lived in 
Virginia during the period of his literary productivity. His 
numerous writings, books and articles, and the many publications 
of the Presbyterian Church concerned with him would form a 
major part of a collection based on "native sons." Union Sem- 
inary published recently an exhaustive biography by Dr. J. Gray 
McAllister, containing a critical appraisal of his books but un- 
fortunately no bibliography of other writings. 13 

Unlike Dr. Moore, John Van Alstyn Weaver (1893-1938) left 
the county before his education began. He was reared in Chicago, 
was educated in New York, and lived in Connecticut and Holly- 
wood. His Charlotte connections were those of his mother's 
people, the Tates, and his Hollywood connections those of his 
wife, the actress Peggy Wood. He was the most versatile of 
Charlotte's literary sons, the author of ten books, including 
poetry, novels, and plays. 14 

11 J. S. Reeves, reviewer, "James K. Polk, A Political Biography," American Historical 
Review, XXVIII (January, 1923), 332-334. 

12 President Graham's Education and Citizenship and Other Papers was published post- 
humously in 1919. 

13 J. Gray McAllister, The Life and Letters of Walter W. More, Second Founder and First 
President of Union Theological Seminary in Virginia (Richmond, 1939), 556. 

14 Archibald Henderson, "John Weaver, A Poet of the People," The Charlotte Observer, 
June 24, 1928. 

Bases for a Mecklenburg Bibliography 33 

These are the outstanding figures of the past and include all 
who either produced or inspired extensive works. There are 
others who wrote in sufficient quantity to rank as "authors" but 
on subjects of limited interest, for example, the "literary Alex- 
anders:" Dr. John Brevard with three books and his brother the 
Rev. Samuel Caldwell with at least four. 

Of present day Mecklenburg-born writers, including all min- 
isters and members of college faculties, the number is large and 
the individuals are widely scattered. Only the journalists H. E. C. 
Bryant and LeGette Blythe are native born of the writers of 
reputation now residing in the county ; but the volumes of Who's 
Who in America contain not a few names well known for writing 
in their professional fields which are followed by "b. Charlotte, 
N. C." or the smaller Mecklenburg communities. 

If the accident of birth is arbitrarily taken as a criterion for 
"Mecklenburg authors," the county can claim a galaxy of 


Neither of these bases, imprints by local printers or authorship 
by native sons, satisfactorily reflects the literary life of the 
county. How important this is depends, of course, on the objec- 
tives of the bibliographer, but there is no doubt that a complete 
record of writings by persons who were residents of the county 
at the time would be of considerable significance to the literary 
historian. Of all bases for "Mecklenburgiana" this would require 
the most research. It is not easy to determine which books and 
pamphlets were written by Mecklenburg residents except in those 
rare instances where the author obligingly provides his address 
in the preface. 

The first resident author was apparently the same as the first 
native son to break into print. The Reverend James Wallis pub- 
lished several pamphlets in addition to the booklet already men- 
tioned. By modern standards he was narrow-minded and provin- 
cial but his work shows the vigor of the frontier that Mecklen- 
burg then was. 

There should be earlier publications by residents, but if so they 
have completely disappeared. It would seem that in founding 
Queens College in the 1770's faculty members or trustees would 

34 The North Carolina Historical Review 

have issued announcements or addresses. A few years later Dr. 
Ephraim Brevard brilliantly expressed Mecklenburg's Revolu- 
tionary sentiments but none of his writings have survived as 
pamphlets. Dr. Alexander MacWhorter, one of the leading colo- 
nial divines of the Presbyterian Church, came to Charlotte dur- 
ing the Revolution as president of the college and there are in 
existence two octavo volumes of his sermons but there is no evi- 
dence that any of them were composed or published while he was 
a citizen of the county. 15 

The first resident authors were presumably the Presbyterian 
ministers. After the Revolution almost all of them had at least 
one prize sermon printed in pamphlet form, and a few, like the 
Rev. H. B. Cunningham of Hopewell (1843-1855) , had many. The 
president and professors of Davidson College, over half of whom 
were ordained ministers, published numerous pamphlet ad- 

An exception to the clerical calling was Professor D. H. Hill, 
later Confederate general, who wrote two books on theology and 
an algebra text for his Davidson students. The last is of special 
interest as its problems are worded in such a way as to show the 
strong sectional feeling of the author. For example, "A Yankee 
mixes a certain number of wooden nutmegs, which cost him % 
cent apiece, with a quantity of real nutmegs, worth 4 cents 
apiece, and sells the whole assortment for $44 ; and gains $3.75 
by the fraud. How many wooden nutmegs were there?" 16 

Few, if any, of the May 20th orations surviving in print seem 
to have been delivered by resident orators. The principal speaker 
was almost invariably an out-of-town guest. The same is true of 
the annual addresses delivered before the Eumenean and Philan- 
thropic literary societies at Davidson. 

No novels, volumes of verse, or collected essays are known 
from Mecklenburg before 1865. During and after the Civil War, 
Charlotte was the home of Mrs. Fanny Murdaugh Downing, the 
city's first novelist. Mrs. Downing was a native of Virginia and 
came to Charlotte about 1862 to escape the northern army in her 
home city. She remained until 1869 during which time she wrote 
a great deal for General Hill's Land We Love. Her novel, Name- 

15 "Alexander McWhorter, D.D.," Annals of the American Pulpit, W. B. Sprague, ed., Ill 
(New York, 1860), 208-215. 
J«D. H. Hill, Elements of Algebra (Philadelphia, 1859), 124. 

Bases for a Mecklenburg Bibliography 35 

less, was published in Raleigh in 1865 and is the first known 
book of fiction by a resident author. The setting is English, not 
American, and reflects the southerner's interest in "life at court" 
in Europe. Its literary value is slight. 17 

The first volume of verse has not been identified unless it be 
also the work of Mrs. Downing. In 1867 her pamphlet Pluto: The 
Origin of Mint Julep was printed in Raleigh. It is a narrative 
poem, filling thirty-five pages and being "the sad story and 
lamentable fate of the fair Minthe." A contemporary critic char- 
acterizes it as "full of fine hits, sly humour and playful fancy, 
with no want of genuine fire." 18 

By the close of the nineteenth century, Mecklenburg was the 
home of an industrious school of local historians and biographers. 
Dr. J. B. Alexander, native son, locally educated, published three 
volumes of Mecklenburg history. Daniel A. Tompkins, a South 
Carolinian by birth, became the outstanding industrial leader 
of Charlotte and through his controlling interest in the Charlotte 
Observer the titular author of a two-volume history of the city 
and county as well as several books on cotton. An excellent biog- 
raphy of Tompkins, under the title of A Builder of the New 
South (1920), was written by Dr. G. L. Winston. Shortly after 
the publication of Tompkins history, there appeared Charlotte in 
Picture and Prose (1906) by Miss Julia M. Alexander who has 
since that date collected materials for a more complete history 
than has yet appeared. 

Of the biographers, Mary Anna (Mrs. "Stonewall") Jackson 
published a life of her husband in 1892 and of her daughter, Julia 
Jackson Christian, in 1910. Clement Dowd's Life of Zebulon B. 
Vance was printed in Charlotte in 1897. Julia M. Alexander 
wrote Mothers of Great Men (1916). Book length memoirs 
have appeared by Dr. J. B. Alexander (1908), Mrs. John Van 
Landingham (1922), Mr. J. B. Ivey (1941), and Dr. W. L. 
Lingle (1947). 

Presidents John B. Shearer and Walter L. Lingle of Davidson 
College lead the list in volume with respect to religious subjects. 
Dr. Shearer had the Presbyterian Committee of Publication in 
Richmond, Va., issue eight volumes of his writings. Their circu- 

17 James Wood Davidson, The Living Writers of the South (New York, 1869), 156-170. 

18 Davidson, Living Writers, 157. No earlier publication of Mecklenburg verse is listed in 
Father Placid's Bibliography of North Carolina Poetry (Belmont, 1934). 

36 The North Carolina Historical Review 

lation has been limited. President Lingle has five books (one a 
revision) and over twenty-five pamphlets to his credit. Several 
of Dr. Lingle's writings have been printed also in foreign lan- 

It was during the opening decade of the present century that 
Charlotte experienced its first flowering of belletristic literature. 
Mrs. Downing, though a resident, had been an exotic. Under the 
editorship of Joseph P. Caldwell, the Charlotte Observer pro- 
duced a group of young journalists of exceptional talent. 19 The 
writings of three of these were deemed worthy of preservation 
in book form. 

Issac Erwin Avery came of the distinguished Morganton 
Averys. His preparation for a literary career began with the 
editorship of the college paper at old Trinity College, took him 
to Shanghai as secretary to the American consul, and landed 
him as city editor of the Observer at the age of thirty. His book, 
Idle Comments (Charlotte, 1905), was published after his death 
less than four years later. For this volume selections from his 
writings were made by a committee including Edwin Mims and 
C. Alphonso Smith. The settings of the selections are chiefly 

John Charles McNeill was a native of Scotland County, a 
graduate of Wake Forest College, a lawyer by profession and a 
poet by preference. When offered a place on the staff of the 
Observer he gave up the law and devoted the remainder of his 
short life to writing. Songs Merry and Sad (Charlotte, 1906) 
won for him the Patterson Memorial Cup. His second volume, 
Lyrics from Cotton Land (Charlotte, 1922), was published 
posthumously and contains the best of his Negro dialect verse. 

H. E. C. ("Red Buck") Bryant, the third of the triumvirate, 
was born in Mecklenburg, was educated at the state university, 
became distinguished in journalism in Charlotte and Washing- 
ton, D. C, and is today writing his memoirs. In 1910 the Stone 
and Barringer Company published his Tar Heel Tales which 
have been favorably compared with Joel Chandler Harris's dia- 
lect stories. While all of North Carolina is its field, the flavor of 
Mecklenburg is marked in this volume. 

19 H. E. C. Bryant, Joseph Pearson Caldwell, 1853-1911 ( Statesville, 1933), passim. 

Bases for a Mecklenburg Bibliography 37 

After the deaths of Avery and McNeill and the removal of 
Bryant to Washington, Charlotte suffered a twenty-year reces- 
sion of creative literary activity. Industry throve, but literature 

During the 1930's, however, the presence of Cameron Shipp, 
Mrs. Marian Sims, Tim Pridgen, and LeGette Blythe made Char- 
lotte again the literary center of the Piedmont. The last three 
have had works of fiction issued by national publishers. In addi- 
tion to these have been several highly creditable one-book au- 
thors, as Mary Bledsoe (Shadows Slant North), W. J. Cash (The 
Mind of the South) and Marion Hargrove (See Here, Private 


A fourth basis for a Mecklenburg bibliography would be writ- 
ings whose subject matter relates to the city and county. To the 
writer this would be the most interesting basis of selection. 

The first publication in this category is again theological. In 
1794 there was printed by William Young in Philadelphia A 
Sermon, on the Doctrine and Duty of Sacrificing ; First Deliver- 
ed at an Ordination in New-Providence, Mecklenburg County, 
North Carolina, Feb. 2, 1792 ... by the Rev. Samuel E. McCorkle, 
D. D. Pastor of the Church at Thyatira and Salisbury, in Rowan 
County, North Carolina. 20 This is the first known "separate" as 
distinguished from periodical articles, with Mecklenburg County 
as its subject, though the Reverend Dr. McCorkle was neither a 
resident nor a native of the county. Newspapers, north and 
south, had printed accounts of Mecklenburg's Revolutionary reso- 
lutions during the year 1775, 21 but no separates were issued. 

The most satisfactory system for classifying a bibliography 
based on subject matter is perhaps according to literary form. 
No attempt will be made to evaluate these productions as liter- 
ature except as they reflect the life and mores of Mecklenburg. 

Fiction. Novels with Mecklenburg settings are not new. In 
1886 E. R. Roe published The Hornets' Nest, a juvenile relating 
to the period of the Revolution. Miss Sallie Dickson's Ralph 
Fabian's Mistakes appeared in 1908 and is concerned with college 
life and morals at Davidson. LeGette Blythe's Alexandriana 

20 Copy at Duke University. 

21 W. H. Hoyt, The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence (New York York, 1907), 

38 The North Carolina Historical Review 

(1940) revolves around the Mecklenburg Declaration of 1775. 
H. E. C. ("Red Buck") Bryant's Tar-Heel Tales (1910) are 
Negro dialect stories mostly from Mecklenburg. Modern Char- 
lotte is arrestingly interpreted in the novels of Marian Sims 
particularly Call it Freedom (1937), which treats of divorce in 
a conservative community, and The City on the Hill (1940), a 
story of municipal corruption. 

Essays and Poetry. The books of Issac Erwin Avery and Mrs. 
John Van Landingham might be classified as essays with a 
Mecklenburg setting but this form has not been highly devel- 
oped. There is no volume of verse concerned with the city or 
county, although numerous poems on the Mecklenburg Declara- 
tion 22 and some on the Catawba River have appeared in col- 

Orations and Sermons. Only publications in these fields on 
occasions of local moment or relating to historical events would 
be included. The Mecklenburg Declaration, on which subject most 
of them occur, is sufficiently distinctive to deserve a separate 
classification. See section below. In addition, there are anniver- 
sary addresses for various institutions and societies. 

Biographies and Memoirs. Book-length biographies about, and 
incidentally by, Mecklenburgers have appeared for Governor 
Z. B. Vance, Major John Davidson, and Editor J. P. Caldwell. 
There are life histories of Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, 
Daniel A. Tompkins, and James B. Duke which emphasize their 
Mecklenburg connections and should be included. The more ex- 
tensive writers have been mentioned above. 

History. This would include the several histories of the city 
and county previously listed and the excellent Guide to the Queen 
City (1939) of the W.P.A. Writers Project. There are already 
beginnings for institutional histories, e.g., for colleges Cornelia 
Shaw's Davidson College (1929) and for churches Carrie L. 
McLean's First Baptist Church (1917) and Dr. C. W. Sommer- 
ville's Hopewell (1939) . Most of the other historic churches have 
pamphlet resumes of their records. For the professions there is 
only Dr. C. M. Strong's Mecklenburg County Medicine (1929). 

22 Typescript collection of Mecklenburg Declaration verse in the library of Davidson College, 
Davidson, N. C. 

Bases for a Mecklenburg Bibliography 39 

The Peter Stewart Ney mystery, which concerns Mecklenburg 
along with other Piedmont counties, is becoming almost as 
publicized as the Mecklenburg Declaration controversy. Three 
books have appeared on the subject all favoring the thesis that 
Peter Stewart Ney was, in fact, the noted marshal of Napoleon. 
The first, Dr. James A. Weston's Historic Doubts as to the Exe- 
cution of Marshal Ney (1895) presented most of the significant 
data. Dr. James E. Smoot's Marshal Ney Before and After Exe- 
cution (1929) is chiefly an attempt to buttress the earlier find- 
ings. The mystery was popularized by LeGette Blythe's best-seller 
Marshal Ney: A Dual Life (1937). Other books less favorable 
to the popular proposition are at present pending publication. 23 

The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. The literature 
on the Mecklenburg Declaration is voluminous enough to form 
a small library by itself. Of the scores of pamphlets the first 
was the "state pamphlet" referred to above as printed in Raleigh 
in 1822. Almost from that day to this the subject has been up for 
debate. Another state pamphlet appeared in 1831. Among the 
pre-Civil War addresses there are extant in print those by Frank- 
lin L. Smith (1835), Cyrus Johnston (1847), R. M. Saunders 
(1852), and D. L. Swain (1853). 

Books on the subject began with Jo. Seawell Jones's Defence of 
the Revolutionary History of the State of North Carolina (1834) . 
Hon. William A. Graham's Address at the Centennial Celebration 
allayed effective opposition for a quarter of a century. At the 
beginning of the twentieth century three comprehensive treatises 
appeared, Dr. G. W. Graham's in 1905 (pro), W. H. Hoyt's in 
1907 (con) , and J. H. Moore's in 1908 (pro) . 

For over one hundred years publications of some sort — pag- 
eants, programs, invitations, addresses — have appeared almost 
annually for May 20th in Charlotte, but no comprehensive bibli- 
ography has been compiled and no distinguished collection 
assembled. 24 

The purpose of this paper is not to argue the value of county 
bibliographies. The need is obvious to all doing serious research. 

23 Mr. W. H. Hoyt of New York, author of The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, 
above cited, is preparing an exhaustive study. 

24 S. B. Weeks, Bibliography of North Carolina (Cambridge, 1895), contains an early 
bibliography based on Lyman C. Draper's Mecklenburg Declaration MS. in the Wisconsin 
Historical Society, Madison, Wis. 

40 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The aim has been to suggest, and illustrate, points of departure 
from an exhaustive and unorganized compilation. The adoption 
of any one of the four bases should, it seems to the writer, in- 
crease the interest in the work itself and the usefulness of the 




Edited by Louis A. Brown 


When North Carolina seceded from the Union on May 21, 1861, 
David Olando McRaven was just another small plantation owner 
who lived near the present town of Hunter sville (in Mecklenburg 
County, approximately 19 miles north of Charlotte), North 
Carolina. McRaven owned about 130 acres of land and two Negro 
slaves, and he probably hired one or two additional slaves on a 
yearly basis. He was a respected member of his community and 
a loyal citizen of the Confederacy. The story of how the Civil 
War broke into this happy home is found in these letters. 

The decline of the Confederate fighting potential, which had 
perhaps begun at Gettysburg and Vicksburg in July, 1863, 
reached the point in February, 1864, when it became necessary 
to draft men for service in the Confederate army who had hither- 
to been considered either too young or too old. 1 Usually these men 
assumed duties within their home states and thus relieved men 
more able physically for duty in the line. Men between seventeen 
and eighteen years of age were mustered into service and known 
as junior reserves while men between the ages of forty-five and 
fifty were known as senior reserves. 2 McRaven, who was forty- 
eight years old, was mustered into service at Salisbury in July, 
1864, and served as a private in company G of the Second Regi- 
ment of Reserve later organized into the Fourth Regiment of 
Reserves (Seventy-third North Carolina) under the command 
of Colonel John F. Hoke. Colonel Hoke and most of the officers 
under him had seen service in the field and were recuperating 
from wounds. This regiment served chiefly at Salisbury guard- 
ing prisoners of war. 3 

1 General Orders from Adjutant and Inspector-General's Office, Confederate States Army, 
General Order No. 26, 1864 series. See also Walter Clark (editor), Histories of the Several 
Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War 1861-65 (5 vols., Raleigh 
and Goldsboro, N. C, 1901), IV, 2-4. 

2 A. W. Mangum, "History of the Confederate Military Prison at Salisbury," in Southern 
Historical Association Publications, III (Washington, 1899), 319-20. 

3 Clark, North Carolina Regiments, TV, 66-67. 


42 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The Salisbury Prison had been established early in the fall of 
1861, but was intended to serve only as a detention post for Con- 
federate convicts. Some prisoners of war, however, were de- 
tained there in 1861. Early in 1862 the Dix Hill Cartel relieved 
the prison of most of the prisoners of war. Under terms of the 
cartel soldiers were either exchanged on the field of battle or, as 
was more often the case, the prisoners were paroled within ten 
days and later declared exchanged by a mutual exchange of 
prisoners. 4 By this means the prison never held an excessive num- 
ber of prisoners until the late summer of 1864 when General 
Grant concluded that it was time to cease the exchange of cap- 
tured soldiers 5 and thus the number of prisoners of war became 
much larger than the physical facilities of the Salisbury Prison 
could adequately accomodate. This, along with the declining po- 
tential of the Confederacy, explains to some extent the great suf- 
fering of the northern prisoners held at Salisbury during the 
time that McRaven was a guard there. 

The significance of these letters lies in the fact that they are 
documents containing the viewpoint of a prison guard. Probably 
these are among the few extant records of a guard of Civil War 
prisoners of war. It is hardly necessary to point out that the 
attitudes and impressions that are found in these letters are 
historically reliable. McRaven and his wife never expected their 
letters to be published and thus they had no reason to express 
any impression other than their true feeling. 

David Olando McRaven (1816-1897) was the grandson of a 
Scottish immigrant. He was a successful farmer at the time of the 
war and from all accounts seems to have been a respected and 
trusted man of his community. He was a member of the Associ- 
ate Reformed Presbyterian Church and was considered quite a 
witty person. In his earlier years he had been a school teacher 
and this feature of his character may help explain the reason that 
several dependent women of the community looked to him for 
business advice. When a post office was established in the com- 
munity it was he who was appointed its first postmaster, and 
the post office, known as Craighead, was located in his house. 
The post office was established in April, 1856, was discontinued 

4 War of the Rebellion; A Compilation of Official Records of the Union and Confederate 
Armies (130 vols., Government Printing Office, 1880-1901) ser, 2, IV, 266-68. 

5 Official Records, ser. 2, VII, 607. 

Correspondence of David and Amanda McRaven 43 

in 1866, was again reestablished in 1870, and in 1873 the name 
was changed to Huntersville. 

Amanda Nantz McRaven (1820-1887) seems to have been a 
very faithful wife, as these letters reveal. According to her 
daughter she had attended a school taught by the well-known 
Peter Stuart Ney, which is probably her chief claim to fame. 

The McRaven children consisted of Joseph Johnson (1857- 
1913), Ellen Isabelle, often referred to as Sis (1860-1924), Mary 
or Mollie Amanda (1862-1914) , and Ester Jane (1864 — ) . Joseph 
and Molly never married and Ellen married but had no children. 
Ester Jane married J. Mc. Holbrook and to this union were born 
four daughters and three sons. They are Ethel, Mack, Jennie, and 
Mary (Mrs. P. B. Veale), all of Huntersville; John, of Lowell, 
N. C, Ernest, of High Point, N. C. ; and Marguerite, who died in 

Ester Jane McRaven Holbrook still remembers many of the 
events and impressions of her early life. She can only recall, how- 
ever, statements that were made later about many of the things 
which are mentioned in these letters. The significance of these 
letters, however, appears to lie in the general picture of the life 
of the Confederacy which they reveal rather than in the small 

Historically speaking, several questions seem to be reasonably 
well answered by the letters. Without attempting to evaluate 
these points in the order of their importance, they may be men- 
tioned briefly. 

First, when the casual reader of Civil War history, especially 
prisoner of war diaries and accounts, 6 reads of the indescribable 
suffering of the northern prisoners at the Salisbury Confederate 
Military Prison, he wonders why and how this came about. When 
this same reader seeks a Confederate explanation for this he 
discovers that the Confederacy stated that the prisoners were 
fed and clothed as well as the Confederate guards or soldiers in 

6 These may be considered representative diaries and accounts of the Salisbury Prison. 
B. F. Booth, Dark Days of the Rebellion, or Life in Southern Military Prisons giving a correct 
and thrilling History of Unparalleled Suffering, Narrow Escapes, Heroic Encounters, Bold 
Achievements, Cold-Blooded Murders, Severe Test of Loyalty and Patrotism (Indianola, Iowa, 
1897); J. H. Browne, Four Years in Secessia (Hartford, 1865); Albert D. Richardson, The 
Secret Service, The Field, The Dungeon, and Escape (Hartford, 1865); Homer B. Sprague, 
Lights and Shadows in Confederate Prisons, A Personal Experience, 1864-65 (New York, 
1915); R. H. Kellog, Life and Death in Rebel Prisons (Hartford, 1865); and Charles Fos- 
dick, Five Hundred Days in Rebel Prisons (Chicago, 1887). 

44 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the field. 7 It would seem to the reader that this was impossible 
because no one could render service as a guard or soldier on the 
small ration of food and clothing. Also, it would seem improbable 
that the Confederacy would try to treat prisoners of war as well 
as its own men in uniform. These letters verify, in a peculiar 
but significant and completely authentic way, the fact that this 
statement by the Confederacy was more nearly correct than 
might at first be believed. The answer to this apparently incon- 
gruous situation is that the homes of these men — guards and 
soldiers — supplied them with food and clothing — as is indicated 
by these leters. 

Another point which is here proved again is that there existed 
in many cases, a cordial and kindly feeling between master and 
slave. It is true that in any institution as widely spread as was 
slavery in the South all kinds of relationships between master 
and slave existed. The situation found in these letters is not to 
be considered as necessarily the norm in slave-master relations, 
but it is an authentic portrayal of one situation in which kind- 
ness was the key word instead of hatred. In this case the fidelity 
seems to be unusual. 

The poverty of the Confederacy can be ascertained from tables 
of statistics but it is not brought as clearly into focus as is the 
case when one reads confidential letters like these. The operation 
of the tithe and the impressment order are seen at first hand and 
there is also found a human — a very human — interpretation of 
the way an ordinary citizen of the Confederacy felt about these 
laws. This can only be found in the private correspondence of a 
contemporary of the Civil War. 8 

July 4, 1864 
Amanda I received a few lines from you yesterday you are being 
yourself about trifles Negroes are hiring very high it is true 
But 20 Bushels of corn will Bring 400 Dollars so do not vex 
yourself if you and the children keep well I consider our family 
blessed and will b thankful tho I would be very glad to go home 
and see you I still hope that we will get home before very long 
but it is hard telling when, I will count the loads of corn that 

7 Acts and Resolutions of the Second Session of the Provisional Congress of the Confederate 
States, held at Richmond, Va. (Richmond, 1861) Act No. 181, sec. 1. See also J. William 
Jones, Confederate View of the Treatment of Prisoners (Richmond, 1876), 164. 

8 These letters are now in the possession of Mrs. J. Mc. Holbrook of Huntersville, North 

Correspondence of David and Amanda McRaven 45 

Jeff 9 hauled at 10 bu[shels] which will make 300 bushels in all. 
I wish you would get Joh Beard 10 to lok at the law in regard to 
the tithe 11 and see if you may not reserve some for fating hogs he 
will tell you what you should return. Amanda I bought a Large 
Padlock and sent it home by old Mr. Carrigen he will send it to 
Dixon Ewart 12 when you get it have it put on the Crib or any 
place that you think needs it most I gave 12 Dollars for it I could 
not get any thing of the kind at Charlotte for 3 times the 
money. ... I am well and have been employed to help Build a 

9 Jeff was the trusted Negro slave of the McRaven family. He is referred to as "mother's 
servant" by McRaven's daughter, Ester Jane. Jeff's wife was named Gilley. Survival of the 
McRaven family during the absence of McRaven seems to have depended on Jeff and his 
loyalty. This loyalty seems to have extended beyond the end of the war because Ester Jane, 
born on November 12, 1864, and still living, remembers Jeff when she was old enough to be 
walking about in the yard. 

10 John Beard was a brother-in-law of McRaven. He and his wife, Camilla Nantz Beard, 
lived on an adjoining farm and are often mentioned as needed and trusted relatives and 

11 The tithe was in reality a tax law which was one-tenth of most agricultural products. 
The law was enacted April 24, 1863, and the part of the law which is of interest here is as 
follows; "Section 11. Each farmer and planter in the Confederate States after reserving for 
his own use fifty bushels of sweet potatoes and fifty bushels of Irish potatoes, one hundred 
bushels of the corn, or fifty bushels of the wheat produced in the present year shall pay and 
deliver to the Confederate government, of the products of the present year, one-tenth of the 
wheat, corn, oats, rye, buckwheat or rice, sweet and Irish potatoes, and of the cured hay 
and fodder; also one-tenth of the sugar, molasses made of cane, cotton, wool and tobacco; 
the cotton ginned and packed in some secure manner, and tobacco shipped and packed in 
boxes to be delivered by him on or before the first day of March in the next year. Each 
farmer or planter, after reserving twenty bushels of both, for his own use, shall deliver to 
the Confederate government, for its use, one-tenth of the peas, beans and ground peas pro- 
duced and gathered by him during the present year." In case of a dispute concerning the 
amount of produce, the law provided that three disinterested citizens should be called in to 
settle the dispute. The law continued, in regard to the delivery of the tithe: "The said pro- 
ducer shall be required to deliver the wheat, corn, oats, rye, buckwheat, rice, peas, beans, 
cured hay and fodder, sugar, molasses of cane, wool, and tobacco, thus to be paid as a tithe 
in kind, in such form and ordinary marketable condition as may be usual in the section in 
which they are to be delivered, and the cotton in such manner as herein before provided, with- 
in two months from the time they have been estimated as aforesaid, at some depot not more 
than eight miles from the place of production, and if not delivered by that time, in such 
order, he shall be liable to pay fifty per cent more than the estimated value of the portion 
aforesaid, to be collected by the tax collector as hereinafter prescribed: Provided, the govern- 
ment shall be bound to furnish to the producer sacks for the delivery of such articles of 
grain as require producer of molasses the cost of the barrels containing the same." 
References to the operation of this law are to be found in the letters of December 18, 
January 19 and especially in a letter dated January 26, 1865. 

McRaven was inquiring about the law with regard to the fattening of hogs. Section 12 of 
the same chapter states: "That every farmer, planter, or grazier shall exhibit to the as- 
sessor, on or about the first of March, eighteen hundred and sixty-four, an account of all 
the hogs he may have slaughtered since the passage of this act and before that time; after 
the delivery of this estimate to the post quartermaster herein after mentioned by the assessor, 
and the said farmer, planter or grazier shall deliver an quivalent for one-tenth of the same 
in cured bacon, at the rate of sixty pounds of bacon to the one hundred weight of pork. That 
on the first of November next, and each year thereafter, an estimate shall be made, as herein 
before provided, of the value of all neat cattle, horses, mules not used in cultivation, and 
asses owned by each person in the Confederate States, to be paid on or before the first day 
of January next ensuing. . . ." Public Laws of the Confederate States of America, First 
Congress, Session III, chap. 38, sec. 11 and 12. 

McRaven implies that both the tithing of corn and of the slaughtered hogs worked unfairly. 
This is more aptly expressed by Thompson Allen, Commissioner of Taxes, who said in Novem- 
ber, 1863: "Numerous complaints have been made on the part of farmers, that no deduction 
is allowed them in the act for the corn used in fattening their pork. They contend that they 
should not be subject to the tithe on this corn, inasmuch as they pay it by a tithe on the 
pork, and if they are required to pay a tithe on the corn upon which the pork is fattened, as 
well as a tithe of the pork, that they virtually pay a double tax on the corn." Report of 
Commissioner of Taxes, November, 1863. A document accompanying the Report of the 
Secretary of the Treasury. 

One reason for a tax in kind, which turned out to be a tithe in kind, is found in a report 
to Secretary of the Treasury Memminger by Commissioner Allen. He said, "It was, doubtless 
intended as a substitute for a direct tax on lands and slaves, and to avoid the constitutional 
objection to such a tax until a census is taken." Recommendations from Tax Commissioner, 
November, 1863, 7. 

12 Dixon Ewart was a trusted and reliable neighbor. Many people mentioned in the letters 
are neighbors and have no further significance unless they are mentioned in a footnote. 

46 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Cabin for the Col Hoke 13 yesterday and to Day and I can sleep at 
night whilst I am Detailed . . . [illegible] ... I think the corn in 
the little crib has lasted long enough if Jeff has fed all the stock 
and Took corn from there to shell, tell Jeff to save the corn as 
well as he can it will be very scarce everywhere you husband 

D McRaven 

Camp near Charlotte 
August 1st. 1864 
Amanda I have just come of Guard and have time to write you a 
few lines- we got orders about twelve o clock to go to Greensboro 
tomorrow 14 I could have gone to see you to night and come back 
at twelve o clock tomorrow but I thought how hard it was to part 
with you and let my chance go I intend to not ask for a furlough 
until the time 15 you told me of and if alive I will come if possible- 
we have a nice set of officers our Captain is kind and indulgent 
and a Cristian and prays with us night and morning our whole 
company is steady men Except a few I am well and doing as well 
as any one could away from all that is Dear to them I have noth- 
ing that I recollect to write to you about except I found John 
Beard a grisle [ ?] of corn and if Ester 16 cannot let you have a 
hand beforehand to help Jeff with the fodder and to gather peas 
I would rather that Oliver 17 would hire himself another man if he 
can and stay with you at night You need not write until I write 
again which I will do as soon as I stop- . . . 

D McRaven 

Sep 5 1864 
Amanda We have just Landed at our camp about 2 miles north 
of Greensboro I am well and harty our Company could not get on 
the Cars Last night We left Charlotte this morning I cannot tell 
where we are going but believe we will stay here and drill for 

13 Colonel Hoke had been Adjutant General of North Carolina during the early part of the 
war and had served for a time as colonel of the Twenty-third Regiment. Clark, North Caro- 
lina Reaiments, IV, 66-67. 

14 "The regiment was ordered to Raleigh 21 August [1864] for service at Wilmington, hut 
was stopped at Greensboro and soon after it was sent to Salisbury where it performed the 
duties above mentioned [guarding bridges, railroads, and prisoners of war at the Salisbury 
Prison] till 4 March, 1865, when not being longer needed to guard prisoners, it was placed 
in the Eighth Congressional District to arrest deserters with regimental headquarters at 
Salisbury." Clark, North Carolina Regiments, IV, 67. This briefly traces the official where- 
abouts of McRaven. These facts could be derived from McRaven's letters. 

15 McRaven planned to try to get a furlough about October 20 because that was about the 
time that the birth of a baby was expected. The baby was born November 12 and was named 
Ester Jane McRaven. 

16 Ester Smith was a neighbor of the McRaven's who perhaps had inherited some property. 
At any rate, she did possess a considerable amount of land and a number of slaves. Being 
unmarried she needed some man to look after her business affairs and this man seems to 
have been McRaven. She depended on him and trusted him to the extent that she planned to 
give the baby that was about to be born a Negro man as a servant but this never did mate- 
rialize. Her sudden death prevented the willing of any land to the child. In exchange for this 
kindness the McRaven family planned to name the child whatever Ester Smith wished. Since 
the child was a girl the name of Ester Jane was decided upon. The whole story indicates 
that the McRavens were kind to Ester Smith and something of the good quality of the 
McRaven family. Letters directly related to this story are those dated November 29 and 
December 1. 

17 Oliver, the son of John and Camilla Beard, was a nephew of McRaven. 

Correspondence of David and Amanda McRaven 47 

some time and my motive for writing is sutch hast after stopping 
is that I wish very mutch to hear how you and the Children are 
doing we are all in confusion unloading our camp and you will 
Excuse me if my Letter is short I cannot think of any thing 
perticular to write to -but that I want you to write to me as soon 
as you get this and Direct your Letter to Greensboro. 

D McRaven 
Camp at Greensboro 
2 N C senior reserves 
Com G 

[Tuesday] Sep 6th 1864 
My Dear Husband I received your letter last night and was glad 
and sorry to we are all well and doing tolerable well I think Jeff 
is trying to do the best he knows he commenced pulling fodder 
Saturday he has nearly all that field above Johns spring down he 
commenced in that field next to the big road yesterday after din- 
ner it is burning [drying] up very fast he said the corn hardly 
fit either Ester sent Mary Ann 1S down yesterday morning and 
and told her to stay until you come home Mary Maxwells 19 helped 
them yesterday and said she would come back to day Isabella 20 is 
still staying with me I dont know how long she will stay she is 
gone out to Hastens to day she will be back to night Eveline 
McRaven 21 said she would stay with me when Isabella left me. 
Hunter came here Sunday evening and told me he was going to 
start Monday evening to where you were. I sat up Sunday night 
and wrote a letter to you to know about some things I never 
thought about and sent the letter and a poke of sweet potatoes 
and Irish potatoes and onions to Mintys 22 in the morning by Jeff 
he sent the poke back and took the letter and said he would mail 
it in Charlotte there was nothing on the back of it but your name 
he said he coming back last night if you dont get the letter soon 
let me know I get that lother from Eveline I gave her 33 dollars 
for three pounds and three quarters if you dont get home I want 
to know how you think I had better try to get sole lother after 
while Jeff told me to tell you howdy and ask you if he would take 
them collars that negro made he ask seven dollars a peace for 
them he thinks that is very high Ester was here Saturday all day 
she wanted [to] know if we would hire Alsy next year I told her 

18 Mary Ann was apparently a slave girl. 

19 Mary Maxwell was a single white woman who, like Ester Smith, seems to have turned 
to McRaven for business advice and counsel. 

20 Isabella Nantz was a niece of Mrs. Amanda McRaven who made her home at the 
McRavens during the period of these letters. She was about twenty years of age. 

21 Eveline McRaven was the sister of David Olando McRaven. She made her home with 
him most of the time and spent the rest of the time with her sister, Camilla McRaven 
Beard. Eveline never married and at this time was fifty-three years old. She is often 
mentioned in these letters as playing a responsible part in aiding Mrs. McRaven with the 
care of the home. 

22 Minty Maxwell, sister of Mary, was deaf and dumb and like her sister depended on 
McRaven for counsel about business affairs. The poke of food for McRaven was sent to 
Minty's because her home was on the main highway and would be easier for Robert Hunter, 
a neighbor, to pick up and take to McRaven, 

48 The North Carolina Historical Review 

I could not tell her until I would hear from you Richard 23 had 
bin at her for Alsy next year and she would not give him any 
promise Jeff cut the meadow last week and dug the Ireish pota- 
toes and helped John some with the molasses mill and took Ran- 
son two bushels of corn I let that waggoner 24 have four bushels of 
corn and two dozen of oats and the two bushels of sheled corn 
come to ninty one dollars he said he would want some more when 
he come along a gain 

[A. N. McRaven] 

Wednesday Sept 7th 1864 
Amanda some of our company will start to Day on a short fur- 
lough and I will send you a few lines- I am well and have just 
Read your kind letter- R Hunter has just come in and told me 
he saw you Sunday Evening and that you and the children were 
well I liked R. B. [Hunter] more in a few minuets merely be- 
cause he had seen you then you can think I long to see you But 
will not try to get of until the time- tell Molly that her pa will 
come back some Day tell Siss and jo to be kind to each other Tell 
Ester Smith that I will Depend on her Letting me have Alsy 
next year I spoke to her before I left home- you spoke about sole 
leather James Beard thought that we could take out a little of the 
Last Cow hide to make a few pair of shoes and let the rest stay 
in tan untile it is finished But if you could get 3 lbs of sole from 
Sossaman 25 I think it would be better for the other is not half tand 
I am Loking for a letter By mail I will write you a more satis- 
factory letter next [time] tell Jeff to Do the best he can, your 

D McRaven 

Camp at Greensboro 
Guilford Cty. Sept 9, 1864 
Amanda I received a letter from you this morning I will not at- 
tempt to direct . . . [illegible] . . . save when you get a letter 
however short it may be from me I have sent two short Letters 
to you since I came here but had not time to write anything 
scarcely in either of them I am kept pretty Busy since I came 
here I was put in company Commissary . . . [illegible] ... a little 
sick and I will keep him . . . until he gets wele I have had good 
health ever since I parted from you and we have a mess of 13 
men most of them old school mates and we f eeal very mutch at- 
tached to each other even in this short time for the further we 
get from home the m. . . [illegible] ... we are left behind No one 

23 Richard Beard was a brother of John Beard. Reference is made to Alsy, a Negro slave, 
and negotiations for her hire for the coming year. 

24 Wagoners were usually from the mountains and generally came along about once a month, 
though there was no set rule. Apples and whiskey were usually traded for corn or other 

25 Sossaman may have been the keeper of a general store, the owner of a tanyard, or a 
travelling cobbler. From the text of the letters it is obvious that he possessed leather or 
dealt in leather. 

Correspondence of David and Amanda McRaven 49 

can [know] how Dear wife and Children are untill they be absent 
without knowing when they may be permitted to see them again 
and if it was not that I know that I am doing my duty as a man 
it would be a terrible struggle But I know I am dooing my duty 
and when you think of my trying to act as a true man under any 
circumstance it may be some small consolation to you. During 
my absence from you, and it may be some satisfaction to you to 
know that I am satisfied and contented in all Except my separa- 
tion from you my own Amanda. Be kind to the children But firm 
in making them obey you strictly- 

I am glad to hear that Ester Let us have a hand I was afraid that 
Jeff could not save our fodder and the molassace cane Sam 
Beard promised to make me a keg You will get some one to go for 
it and pay him in corn at the old price John Beard promised to 
help some with the molassacs as I Do not want you to injure 
your self by trying to Doo too mutch hard work- tell Ester Smith 
that I am mutch indebted to her for hiering me a hand and tell 
her that I am Depending on her to hire Alsy to me next year for 
if I am kept in the army I would mutch rather she was there 
than any hand that I can get If I have to stay out Long I would 
Like for Sherred Little to Dispose of Davie some way for Either 
him or one of my own horses stand a Chance of Being [im] press- 
ed 26 at any time, tell Jeff he will have to take those collars for 
we will need them They are high But one Bu[shel of] corn will 
more than pay for them tell Jeff that I Believe he will Do all 
that he can for you and the children while I am gone tell Gilley 
I am saving tobacco from my rations 27 for her if I can send it to 
her- ten men out of Every hundred are getting furloughs home 
for 7 days James Johnson went out of our mess I send a few 
Lines to you by him. If John Johnson can go next time he will 
see you before he comes back I will not try to go until nearer 
the time you speak of- D Ewert is holding back Likewise his 
wife will be confined about that Last of this month- tell Jeff to 
be careful and not put the fodder up on the loft to Damp and that 
he must try and cut the part of the meadow that John cut the 
first time after he gets through with the fodder When John 

26 McRaven is requesting his wife to ask neighbor Sherred Little to sell Davie, apparently 
a horse, which was possibly owned jointly so that it would not be impressed. Danger of 
impressment was quite real because the Confederate law relating to impressment stated 
"That whenever the exigencies of any arm in the field are such as to make impressment of 
forage, articles of subsistence or other property absolutely necessary, then such impressment 
may be made by the officers or offices whose duty it is to furnish such forage, articles of 
subsistence or other property for such army." Public Laws of the Confederate States of 
America, Laws, Statutes, etc., First Congress, Session III, Chapter 10, 1863. 

McRaven is perhaps more specifically thinking of a situation which found expression in 
an order published six weeks later by Captain J. W. Goodman, Post Quartermaster at 
Salisbury, which, when presented to the citizen, read, "I am ordered by the commanding 
general to impress all the teams in this country for a few days to haul wood for the troops 
and prisoners ... at this place. Under this authority I hereby notify you to send your 
team and wagons and driver to report to my office. ... I will release your team after two 
day's service." Captain Lewis H. Hanes Papers, folder no. 35, Southern Historical Collection, 
University of North Carolina library. 

27 McRaven was issued a tobacco ration under a Confederate law dated February 17, 1864. 
The law stated "That there shall be furnished to every enlisted man in the service of the 
Confederate States one ration of tobacco, under such regulations as the Secretary of War 
may establish." Public Laws of the Confederacy, First Congress, Session IV, chap. 71, 1864. 

50 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Beard goes to make my return I wish him to take that Bond and 
see if they will take 100 and give me a certificate for 300 as I am 
afraid you may not have money to pay our tax and have enough 
for other Expenses I have written about Every thing that I can 
think of now only tell Jeff to send me word how the corn looks 
after he has the fodder pulled of and if he has marked the pigs, 
and allso that in Bad weather to make a few — to make a hog pen 
and to make [it] where it was Last year, and if I should forget 
it I wis the Land from the Road to Bett Beards up alle sowed and 
the pease abov Johns spring all in wheat tell John & Camilla 
and family howdy for me and Let me hear from you often 

Yours truly D McRaven 
Direct D.O. McRaven 
Care of Col Hoke Greensborough N.C. 

Co G. 2 Regt Senior Reserves 

Sep 12th 1864 
My dear husband I received your letter late this evening and you 
dont know how glad I am to hear from you and to hear you are 
well we are all well I was not very well to day but f eal better to 
night you letter made me forget I was sick we are getting along 
very well so far I think Jeff is doing the best he knows he has 
put up twelve hundred bundles of fodder 28 last week he thinks he 
is a little over half done he say's the corn looks first rate he has 
the pigs marked we have had a great deal of trouble with our 
wheat the black weavel and white weavel are both in it we run 
it through the wind mill last friday we got three barls from 
Minty and emptied the oats out of that big box in the cotton 
house and put the wheat in them and have a lock to the cotton 
house door Jeff was helping John with the molasses mill to day 
he said he would get done to morrow he did not like John bother- 
ing him when he was busy with his fodder if I could see you I 
could tell you a great many things I am afraid to write on paper 
folks will be folks . . . Andy Alexander came up Thursday after 
dinner and stayed until night he thought you was with that com- 
pany down in Union [County] and had got back he come to spend 
the evening with you Isabella went home last Thursday she will 
be back to morrow evening your sister Eveline is staying with 
me until she comes back McRaven I [have] nothing new to write 
to you only Charles Willson cooked a wedding dinner for Ben 
Brown last week and Ben went after his girl and did not get her 

her mother would not let them get married she is a lives 

down near Charlotte brother Albert was all week last week hunt- 

28 Pulling fodder is a farm practice that has now about become extinct. As all old time 
farmers know, it was a process of augmenting the roughage for the livestock by pulling by 
hand the leaves or blades of corn, usually only those below the ear. It was tied by use of one 
of the blades and allowed to remain in the field several days in order to cure or dry. Two or 
three of these "hands," which was the usual amount a man could hold in two hands, were 
then tied together and constituted a bundle. This exact procedure may have varied from 
time to time and from place to place. 

Correspondence of David and Amanda McRaven 51 

ing deserters 29 up in the little mountains we have no word of 
Brother Joe yet McRaven Let me know if you want both sides of 
the hollow sown in wheat on the left hand side of the path as we 
go to Robert Beards [A.N. McRaven] 

Sep 13 [1864] 
McRaven I am going to send Jeff to Mr Johnson this evening 
with some biscake and ginger bread and sweet potatoes and Ireish 
potatoes onion's and apples for you I sold two Bushels of corn to 
a waggoner to day and promised him 8 more as he went back I 
have three hundred dollars now Joe tole me to tell you howdy and 
tell you he could beet Jeff pulling fodder Sis said to tell you she 
was not much of a good girl Molly ask me if her farther wanted 
to see her I told [her] yes you would take her up and kiss her 
when you come home it did please her so well to think you were 
coming home I dont get to write half that I want to write to you 
I will look for you the 20 of Oct I do want to see you so bad I cant 
get about to do much good I feel so helpless write soon and take 
good care of your self good by my dear husband 

A. McRaven 

[no date] 
McRaven write soon and let me know if there is any chance for 
you to come home soon you dont know how anxious I am for you 
to be at home when I am sick dont let that wicked stirring place 
make you forget you have a wife and some little children if I 
know you would not get home soon I would send you some cloaths 
and something to eat by Sam Hux to morrow he is going to Salis- 
bury Isabella sends her best respects to you Jeff told me to tell 
you howdy for him I heard a little while ago that deserters had 
got so thick on the other side of the river that they had to send 
over on this side of the river to get men to take them yesterday 
I [have] nothing more to write at present your affectionate wive 
until death 

A.N. McRaven 
John is going to cut that little peace of meadow to morrow that he 
cut before if it is worth cutting 

good bye my dear husband 

29 Albert Nantz was a brother-in-law of McRaven. Many men found themselves unable to 
subscribe fully to the philosophy of government of the particular government under whose 
jurisdiction they found themselves at this period of history. There were disloyal organizations 
in the United States as well as in the Confederate States. The anti-Confederate organization 
known as the Heroes of America was present in the Salisbury area of North Carolina, if we 
are to believe a story in the Salisbury Carolina Watchman, July 15, 1864. For a discussion 
of this organization, see "Heroes of America," Southern Historical Association Publications, 
XI, 10-20. There seem to have been some deserters in and around Salisbury at this time. See 
A. D. Richardson, The Secret Service, The Field, The Dungeon, and Escape, 453-454; Rich- 
ard A. Dempsey, "An Account from the Ranks," One Hundred Twenty-First Regiment 
Pennsylvania Infantry Survivor's Association Review Edition (Philadelphia, 1906) 187. 

It is possible that Albert Nantz was hunting deserters out of loyalty to the Confederacy 
and this loyalty may have been spurred on by a reward offered by the Confederate govern- 
ment. The Carolina Watchman carried the following notice on June 15, 1863: "A Reward of 
thirty dollars ($30) will be paid for the arrest, and safe delivery of every deserter, from the 
Confederate States Army, at this post, or fifteen dollars for the arrest, and safe confinement, 
of any deserter, in any jail, of the different counties, so they can be secured by the Military 

52 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Camp at Salisbury 
Oct 12th 1864 
Amanda I am well and I would have written to you before this 
but I wished to know something more before this We are going to 
have plenty to do here there are 7- or 8 thousand yankees penned 
up here and the guard Duty is Severe 30 they are a mixed Loking 
set a great many of them under size and many of them mere 
Boys and some good loking a part of our men have been guard- 
ing them in small squads to the creek for watter 31 and back our 
men have bin on since 9 o clock yesterday My turn will come next 
and I cannot write mutch there are several thousand of our men 
camped around here There was one of the Cabarrus men shot 
dead by the guard a Roann man last night he acted foolishly and 
tried to force past the guard and was shot. Our men have shot 
several of the yankees for passing over the lines 32 this is a mutch 
more stirring place than we had at Greensber and I may add 
mutch more wicked I cannot write any more at this time Let me 
hear from you soon tell all the Children howdy and that I will 
try and come home the 20th if I can tell Jeff to do the best he 
can- your husband 

D McRaven 
Direct to me at 
Care of Col Hoke Salisbury N.C. 

2 Reg Senior Reserves 

30 The Dix Hill Cartel had tended to keep the number of prisoners at any prison to a 
minium until it completely broke down in August, 1864. On August 18, 1864, General Grant 
said: "It is hard on our men held in Southern prisons not to exchange them, but it is 
humanity to those left in the ranks to fight our battles. Every man we hold, when released 
on parole or otherwise, becomes an active soldier against us at once either directly or in- 
directly. If we commence a system of exchange which liberates all prisoners taken, we will 
have to fight on until the whole South is exterminated. If we hold those caught they amount 
to no more than dead men. At this particular time to release all rebel prisoners North would 
insure Sherman's defeat and would compromise our safety here." Official Records, ser. 2, VII, 
607. This is perhaps the briefest statement of the reason that the exchange of prisoners 
stopped in the late summer of 1864 and the reason that Salisbury Prison became overcrowded 
early in October, 1864. Between October and the time of the release of the prisoners in 
February, 1865, there were 10,321 prisoners held at Salisbury Prison. On November 6, 1864, 
8,740 prisoners were held at the prison and this was the largest number ever held there at 
one time. Official Records, ser. 2, VIII, 254. 

At this time there were about 1,500 guards to guard over 8,000 prisoners. In addition to 
McRaven's statement that guard duty was burdensome, other sources state the same fact. See 
Official Records, ser. 2, VIII, 179; Carolina Watchman, Jan. 15, 1865; A. W. Mangum, His- 
tory of the Salisbury Prison, p. 319-20; W. J. Fletcher, The Gee Family (Rutland, Va. 1937) 
43; W. Clark, History of North Carolina Regiments, IV, 756-57. 

31 The shortage of water is evidenced in practically all accounts of the prison by prisoners. 
It is well expressed in a report of the Assistant Adjutant and Inspector General, T. W. Hall, 
to the Quartermaster General, C.S.A., in which he said: "Water is obtained from nine wells 
within the inclosure and from the creek, one mile and a half distant [probably less than half 
a mile], to which the prisoners are allowed to go, a certain number at a time, under guard, 
with buckets and barrels. The supply obtained from all these sources, however, is not more 
than sufficient for cooking and drinking purposes." Official Records, ser. 2, VIII, 246. 

On November 8, 1864, one prisoner described this process: "Our water supply was brought 
to us in barrels, the allowance being the amount that two men can carry in a barrel for 
every 100 men. A hole is cut through the staves of the barrel, into which a pole is put. This 
is carried by two men to a stream about 200 yards southeast of the stockade. About three 
pails of water is an average load for two men in our condition. These water carriers go out 
in squads of ten and twenty, under strong guard. Along the road to the stream are numbers 
of citizens who are eager to trade a sweet potato or a corn doger [this would probably be 
called a "corn bread loaf" today] for a Yankee relic." B. F. Booth, Dark Days of the 
Rebellion, 134-35. 

32 This refers to the "dead line" which was or is a feature of most military prisons. During 
the Civil War it was usually a line marked either by a small trench or stakes on which were 
nailed slats and constituted the limit of freedom of a prisoner of war. This "dead line" was 
located several feet inside the palisade wall. A prisoner at Salisbury Prison thus described the 
"dead line," "Along the east, west, and other sides of the stockade, about six feet in the 
inside a ditch was dug about three feet wide and two feet deep, forming what was called 'The 
Dead Line.' " B. F. Booth, Dark Days of the Rebellion, 13-14. 

Correspondence of David and Amanda McRaven 53 

October 16th 1864 
Mecklinberg N.C. 
My dear husband I would have wrote sooner but I never got your 
letter until friday night and there has not bin any maile since to 
send a letter we are all well but myself. . . . Jeff picked the cotton 
over this week and sowed that field of oats and help[ed] to dig 
Mrs Hux's grave one day and he went to the river mill Friday 
he was gathering peas yesterday Mary Ann and the children 
were at it the day before every thing that can raise the troat 
[sing] is gone to Zion to day Camilla and Wash 33 is staying with 
me to day Wm. Beard and Isabella is gone in our buggy your 
sister Eveline stayed with me two nights this last week and 
Camilla stayed with me one night McRaven you dont know how 
desolate and bad I feal when you are gone I will look for you 
home Thursday night or Friday I will be badly disapointed if you 
dont come. ... 

N.A. McRaven 

Oct. 17th 1864 
Camp at Raleigh 
Amanda I am uneasy about hearing from home I sent you a few 
lines soon after I came here and have been loking for a letter 
but I fear you have not got mine and do not know where to direct 
[it] to I am well, we have heavy Duty to perform there are 9 
thousand yankies and three hundred Confederate prisoners here 
to guard and we have to guard the yankies in squads to the creek 
about half a mile to get watter like Cattle we have to be on guard 
24 hours together and some times an allarm is given and we have 
to get Out of our Blankets and go and stand all night the yankies 
are Dyeing pretty fast 7 or 8 in a night. 34 I could stay here con- 
tented for it is a stirring place and suits me if I could only hear 
from you and the Children I cannot write mutch this morning as 
I have to go on Detail write soon and write all the particulars kiss 
the children for me. your husband D McRaven 
[Part of the letter has been cut away but this follows.] 
I will try to get home about the 20th but I am afraid thy will 
not let me go as there is another officer 35 over our Col and he 
may refuse me a furlough My officers will Do all they can for 
me they are all my friends. 

33 Wash was an old Negro slave of the McRavens. 

34 The death rate was highest at Salisbury Prison from October, 1864, to the time of the 
liberation of the prisoners in February, 1865. During this period the estimated average 
number of deaths per day was placed at twenty-seven. Official Records, ser. 2, VIII, 248. 

35 This doubtless refers to Major John H. Gee, commandant of the prison from August 24, 
1864, to December 20, 1864. Since Major Gee was outranked by Colonel Hoke and perhaps 
others at Salisbury, it was with great difficulty that Gee got his orders executed. Though it 
is generally conceded that the commandant of a prison or post shall have precedence over all 
other officers regardless of their rank, such apparently was hardly the case at Salisbury 
Prison in the fall of 1864. W. J. Fletcher, The Gee Family, 142-43; Official Records, ser. 2, 
VIII, 246. 

54 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Oct 19th 1864 
Amanda I feeal sadly Disappointed I applied for a furlough to 
Day and could not get it I am in a poor humor to write I f eal more 
like complaining at this time than I Ever did in my life but I 
have to submit I will try again next Sunday the officers say there 
cannot be spared one man I feeal Confused and hurt I cannot 
write any thing that I wish, I hope I may get Leave to start 
Sunday or on Monday I want you to do whatever you think best 
about getting Aunt Sally 36 to stay with you I wish you Amanda to 
keep up your spirits and hope for I fear you may Injure your- 
self by being so Down harted I live in full hope that I will see 
you before Long. Tell Jeff to [do] the best he Can for me and if 
he begins to gather corn to be caref ull and not haul it in when it 
is wet with Due or rain and tell him that I cannot give him 
Directions now for I Cannot tell what is most needfull to be 
Done this time I still think I will get home next week- we have 
finished us a shanty it will keep the frost and the storm of our 
heads we are kept prety close on Duty and some of our men think 
it terrible hard but Amanda if you and the children are well and 
I can hear from you once a week I could do twice as mutch and 
[it would] not hurt me your Husband D McRaven 

[Sunday] October 23th 1864 
Mecklenburg N.C. 
My Dear Husband I received your letter last Wednesday night 
and I would have answered it Thursday but I looked for you home 
Thursday and Friday I was so sure you would come I did not 
think it was worth while to wirte [sic'] to you I lay a wake two 
nights waiting for you to come until past the time then I took my 
crie I feal very bad here in my fix I sent for Aunt Sally to come 
and stay with me and she was sick and could not come and the 
Doctors both are out moste all the time I dont know what will 
become of me I dont care so much for my self as I do for my 
children. . . . Jeff is getting along tolerably well with the work 
he has the corn gathered on this side of the hollow and sowed 
down in wheat all but that sandy peace between the ditches the 
peas are nearly all gathered on the other side Johns folks gather- 
ed peas one day one half for the other and they want to gather 
more John wants to commence sowing that old field this week 
they will have to help gather the peas to get it ready Jeff wants 
you to write back how much wheat he must put on that peace of 
ground on the other side of the hollow next to the big road he is 
afraid he wont sow it right John told me to day that Byerly had 
the real blue stone he would change for corn I am going to try to 
get some this week to soak the rest of our wheat I am afraid it 
will be bad wheat next year to sow it as it is William is going 
to town to morrow I will send by him to know how he will change 
William gets 30 dayes longer furlough John and William and 

Aunt Sally seems to have been a Negro slave and perhaps a midwife. 

Correspondence op David and Amanda McRaven 55 

James Black had a fus out here at . the molasses mill one day this 
last week William give James Black four [or] five strokes over the 
head with a stick John catched hold of the stick and stoped him 
from striking him any more it was about them letters he wrote 
Eveline that waggoner came a long this week I let him have 10 
bushels more of corn I got some brandy from him for you and 
you never come to drink it I have six hundred and sixty dollars 
now I wish he had took more of the corn Jeff put two good loads 
of that old corn in the barn and left two loads in the crib it was 
full of black weaveals I did not know whether to put the new corn 
in there or not I cut that peace [see letter dated Oct. 17th.] out 
of your letter you wrote to Richard Beard and sent it to him he 
went to settle last Friday but they would not settle he offered 
Mrs Sossaman two hundred dollars she would not take it Richard 
has to start to Raleigh in the morning they were after them de- 
serters down in the hills Friday with dog's they raised three I 
dont know whether they got any but one or not they caught a 

1 expect to start Joe to school this week to Black with 

Caty and Ellick 37 I dont like to do it much either you would be 
surprised to see the peas him and liz 38 gathered the children 
wants to see you very bad they all sends howdy to you Mollie 
sayes tell paw to come home and kiss his baby 

A. McRaven 

Oct 23rd 1864 
Amanda My Captain and first Lieutenant tryed to get leave for 
me to start home to see you to Day Sunday, but failed I am hurt 
and uneasy but cannot help myself the Col told the officers that 
they could not let any man go home before the midle of next 
week Because we have not Enough men to guard the yankey 
prisoners and they have bin trying to get out 39 there has been 
several shot since I came here Some of the young men are leav- 
ing here and we have very hard Duty to perform I have been on 
Duty 24 hours Every other Day since Last Saturday week- I am 
well and I intend to try to get home next week But I do not know 
whether I can go or not you no [know] Amanda this is the first 
time I promised to come to you and Did not Come But I Cannot 
help myself Cheer up and hope for the Best and let me hear from 
you soon for I am very anxious to hear how you are getting 
Along I wrote this merely to let you kno that [you are] not to 
lok for me at the appointed time tell the Children howdy and 

87 Caty and Ellick Beard were children of John Beard. 

88 Liz was a McRaven slave girl. 

89 United States officers were held as prisoners at Salisbury Prison and during the early 
part of October, 1864, they developed a plan for escape. An attempt was to be made on 
October 15 [note reference to this in McRaven's letter of October 17] but was not carried out 
because one disaffected United States officer let out the information. Another attempt was to 
be made on the twentieth but it likewise was thwarted at the very last moment. On this day 
all the officers were transferred to a prison at Danville, Virginia. For an account of this 
attempted prison break see Homer B. Sprague, Lights and Shadows in Confederate Prisons, 
A Personal Experience, 1864-65 (New York, 1915), 60-76; H. A. Small (editor), The Road to 
Richmond (Berkley, California, 1939) 167. 

56 The North Carolina Historical Review 

kiss them for me and I give my respects to John and Camilla and 
Eveline tell Jeff and Gilly that I am well- take good care of 
yourself and be assured that you are uppermost in my thoughts. 

D McRaven 

Oct 26th 1864 
Amanda I have just come of guard and tried my officers for a 
furlough and failed again I am tired and sleepy and sorry and I 
do not know what to do you have [no] idea how bad I want to see 
you if it was only for one hour I still hope that I will get to see 
you before long- do not trouble yourself trying to send any thing 
to me yet I can get along for a while tho I need shoes and an- 
other Blanket there is some talk of us getting home for a while 
but I do not credit it much Our Duties are severe but there is 
another squad 40 of men come here last Evening they may take some 
of our labour of I intend to try Every two or three Days to get 
to go home and you must not think that I can forget you Amanda 
for that is impossible- tell Isabella howdy for me and Jeff and 
Gilly- tell jo that I say he is a good Boy and I want him to Learn 
his book at school and be kind to Sis and Molly tell Molly that pa 
will come and kiss his baby as soon as I can- tell Jeff that I think 
about 4 and a half Bushels of wheat will sow that field tell him 
to sow it as nigh [near] the thing as he can and I will be satis- 
fied I want to know if you have got them two pieces of leather 
from the tanyard I hear that James Beard is gone and I am 
afraid that we will not get our Leather I cannot write mutch at 
a time Let me hear from you often and I will Come to see you as 
soon as possible yours truly D McRaven 

[Thursday] Oct 27th 1864 

My Dear Husband I received your letter last night that you wrote 
on Sunday I think your letters are so long a coming I never get 
them until three or four days after they are wrote . . . McRaven 
I was glad to hear you even stood a little chance to get home next 
week I think hard of them men that they cant spare one bit of a 
man they have called the men down to Charlotte twice this week 
and sent them back both times Richard Beard is not gone yet 
your sister Eveline is staying with me this week they sent for 
Isabella to go home Tuesday Albert had to start away yesterday 
she said she would come back sunday Williams Gorge is gone Jeff 
has not gathered any more corn yet he said what he did pull was 
very tuff to pull he was waiting untile it would get a little dryer 
he dug the sweet potatoes Tuesday and put them up yesterday we 
have a fine lot of them more than we had last year he was going 
to gather peas this morning but it is raining and stoped him 
some folks rather wants to take the advantage about gathering 

4° One account stated that at one time, perhaps at about this time, about 400 senior 
reserves '*. . . from Camp Vance were sent to increase the guard." John Steele Henderson 
Papers, 1864, folder 4-f, Southern Historical Collection. 

Correspondence of David and Amanda McRaven 57 

them peas in the old field I sent to Charlotte Tuesday and got a 
pound and a half of the real blue stone I gave fifteen dollars for 
the pound and half it was a small lot they had for soldiers wives 
Jeff wants you to . . . [torn away] . . . much wheat he must 
put on that peace of ground next to the big road he is afraid he 
will not sow it right the children sends howdy to you they want 
to see you very bad Joe is not going to school yet Johns children 
[are] not going yet and he has no one to go with him yet 
McRaven I look for you home next week you dont know how glad 
I would be if you cold get home if I knew you would not get home 
I would send you a shirt and a pair of sock and something to eat 
by Sam Hux next Tuesday he was to go this week but he got off 
a few dayes Harriet 41 has the fever you must write soon and let 
me hear from you I think you will soon brake down you have such 
heavy duty 24 four hours is to long your sister Eveline send 
howdy to you I cant write any more now take good care of your 
self good bye my dear husband N.A. McRaven 

Oct 29th 1864 
Amanda I have a few spare minutes and I will employ myself 
During the time writing to you for the Letters that I have writ- 
ten have been short ones indeed for we have but little spare 
time . . . [Line on crease of letter so worn that it is illegible] . . . 
10 o clock in the morning so sleepy that we tumble Down and 
sleep until twelve and then we have something to Do to make 
shelters and Clean our guns etc But I believe I am holding my 
own very well I am in good health and I have jus returned from 
being to get my shirt and Drawers wash[ed] they were very 
Dirty and I thought I had lice But could not find any there are 
millions of them here sometimes I feeal a touch of sorrow when I 
Lok of my stand on the Garrison and see the Amount of suffer- 
ing and wretchedness 42 in the space alloted to the yanky prison- 
ers there are from 10 to 25 prisoners Buried here Every Day But 
at other times I feeal that if I had the power they should suffer 
Even more when I think of what Our men have suffered in their 
prisons- I put in a rough night last thursday night it rained all 
night and I was very wet But I was not cold and feeal nothing 
worse from it I still hope that I will get home before Long to see 
you but I doe not know when we can get any furloughs yet But 

41 The wife of Sam Hux, a neighbor. 

42 One can readily imagine the suffering that a prisoner of war would undergo, but the 
words of one who was suffering there makes the most vivid impression. On November 30 a 
prisoner wrote in his diary: "One result of this long period of confinement, with its ac- 
companying misery, hunger, exposure and degredation, is that many prisoners are losing all 
sense of right, justice and honor. Pretty thieving is practiced to an alarming extent, adding 
to the general misery. If a man happens to leave any of his effects out of his reach, they are 
speedily picked up by some sneak, and the rightful owner has no assurance of recovering his 
property. We dare not leave our hut without leaving some one to guard it. Rations must not 
be kept longer than we can devour them. If put away, no matter how secretely they may be 
hidden, some poor fellow sufferer is sure to find them and appropriate them to his own use. 
We dare not even go away from the presence of our friends to eat the little that is doled out 
to us. If a piece of bread is displayed in some parts of the prison pen, and the fortunate 
possessor is alone, two or three poor, famishing fellows are sure to attack and take it away 
from him." B. F. Booth, Dark Days of the Rebellion, 184-185. 

58 The North Carolina Historical Review 

I will still keep trying you spoke of sending me a shirt and socks 
do not send them yet, I have two good shirts I would like to have 
my overcoat or another small Blanket if I Dont get home soon for 
I get medling cold these long nights on guard dont trouble your 
self at this time sending [them] to me [. S] ome potatoes or peas 
or Butter or corn bread would taste good but I am in good health 
on poor Beef and tough wheat cakes and it is all that I ask if you 
and the children only keep well I am glad that Dr. Wilson called 
to see you and has promised to be easly come at when Called on 
and I am glad that Eveline is staying with you for if you get sick 
I know that she is a careful nurse and that you will not lack any 
attention that she can give I have not any Directions to give to 
Jeff I think [I] wrote about the wheat, tell him to Do as well as 
[he] knows how for I cannot think here what is best to be done 
for this is a bad wicked place there are a great many very wicked 
men in our own company and among the yankies their whole 
Conversation is made up of Oaths and Blasphemies they undoubt- 
edly are the wickedest people On Earth- I want two or three 
pound of thin sole leather from Richard Beard to make insoles 
for Our shoes I wish you would get it from him I am nearly out 
of Shoes and I hear nothing of Drawing 43 any Jeff and the chil- 
dren will soon need [shoes] allso let me know if you have made 
any arrangements about making them I would rather Jeff would 
make his own and the children if he has time, I can do a while 
yet, cheer up my wife. 

Yours truly D McRaven 

Oct 30th 1864 
[Part of this letter is torn away and the remainder is badly 

My Dear Husband . . . wanted to know about the lother I sent by 
William last Friday and he bought them two upper peaces the — 
is one peace weighed three pounds McRaven I dont know how I 
can get you a pair of shoes and a blanket fixed up unless I could 
get about better. . . I dont want [to] risk every body with the 
lother it cost to much Richard Beard got two Bushels of corn 

43 Throughout these letters one is struck with the desperate need for leather and shoes. This 
condition was recognized by the Confederate government as early as October, 1862. At this 
time a law was enacted which provided ". . . That the President be and he is hereby 
authorized, on the requisition of the Quartermaster General, to detail from the army persons 
skilled in the manufacture of shoes not to exceed two thousand in number; and it shall be the 
duty of the Quartermaster General to place them, without delay, at suitable points in shops 
under proper regulations prescribed by him, and employ them diligently in the manufacture 
of shoes for the army. 

Sect. 2. Be it further enacted. That soldiers detailed under the provisions of this act shall 
be entitled to receive pay for extra duty, and also thirty-five cents per pair for shoes manu- 
factured by them severally, in addition to regular pay and rations." Public Laws of the 
Confederacy, First Congress, Session II, 1862, chap. 37. 

In addition to this provision concerning the manufacture of shoes, the Confederacy 
obliged itself ". . . to provide, as far as possible, clothing for the entire forces of the Con- 
federate States . . .," which would be taken to include shoes. Acts and Resolutions of the 
Third Session of the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States, no. 256, 1861. 

The wording of these laws passed during the early months of the Confederacy would almost 
imply the inability of the Confederacy to fill these requirements. McRaven, as well as many 
of his friends, might not have been able to have withstood the rigors of his duties at Salis- 
bury without aid, in terms of food and clothing from his home. 

Correspondence of David and Amanda McRaven 59 

here and is to give lother for it I have not get it yet Jeff has 
not gathered any more corn yet he has been gathering peas he - - 
the peas all gathered only that peace [near] Johns spring and 
this peace before [the house] he is going to gather corn to [day] 
if it is dry enough I will not [write] much this time William said 
[he wou] Id write to you to day I have no [time] to write to you 

only I am save[ing] that brandy for you I heard they had 

run them salt makers 44 home again they have takeing moste all 
the men about here that was a mistake I wrote about Richard 
not being gone he is gone Robert Beard is gone to the tanyard I 
dont know how long to stay the children sends howdy to you and 
say you must come home they want to see you so bad. . . . 

A McRaven 

October 31st 1864 
Catawba Cty. N.C. 
Dear sister Amanda 

... I got a letter from Joe last week he wrote he was well and 
hearty the letter was dated October eighteenth he was near 
Mount Jackson in Va. he wrote the Yankies came very near 
ketching him said he out run them he wrote he had got your letter 
said it was the first one he had got from us in a long time he got 
a letter from William the sixteenth inst. he was well [and] still 
at Petersburg. I received a letter from Brotherton 45 last week he 
was well when he wrote he has had the yellow Janders very bad 
he is still at Petersburg in the ditches yet he has been in a good 
many battles but not hurt yet I havent seen him since May he 
wrote to me he dont get enough to eat I have been cooking and 
puting up him a box today to send to him. . . . 

Your sister, 
Martha C. Brotherton 

Nov 1st 1864 
Amanda ... be careful of yourself and never mind trying to look 
for Shoes for me yet I am not bad off and can do something with- 
out them, I am sorry to tell you that I cannot get home yet But 
will try Every Day whether I succeed or not I think if I could 
see you safe through I could Endure any kind of usage without 
a murmur Our Duty still continues to be Severe I think as the 
weather get Colder it will be more so there are three of our men 

44 In October, 1862, the Confederacy exempted from military service ". . . all superintend- 
ents, managers, mechanics, and miners employed in the production and manufacture of salt to 
the extent of twenty bushels per day ' . . ." Public Laws of the Confederacy, First Congress, 
Session II, 1862, chap. 45. On March 1, 1864, a list of those who were exempt from military 
service did not include salt miners or workers in the manufacture of salt. General Orders 
from Adjutant and Inspector-General's Office, 1864 series, Order no. 26, sect. 4. It is not 
difficult to understand why men employed in producing salt would resent being sent into the 
army. For a discussion of salt workers in North Carolina see J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, 
editor, The Correspondence of Jonathan Worth (Raleigh, 1909), I, 315-316, 308, 333. 

45 Hugh Brotherton was a brother-in-law of McRaven. He was not killed during the war as 
was rumored at one time. See letter dated February 7, 1865. 

60 The North Carolina Historical Review 

gone home Last night they get 5 days and it will be Saturday 
before any more can get furloughs Hugh Blakely is sick and the 
officers are trying to get him sent home to Day But the Col says 
that he must not go I have no Directions to give Jeff, Only to 
manage as the best he can, and if you are oblige to get any shoes 
Cut out for any of the family get John Beard to come up and do 
it at home, tell Jo I want to hear how fan [horse] is Doing and if she 
has throwned him yet tell sis to be a good girl and I will Come 
home as soon as I can and se her and Molly, tell Gilley I Cannot 
save any tobacco for her this time and I want her and Jeff to 
save and take Care of what we have untile you get able to get 
about I am nearly Out of money but that will keep me from 
spending [it] write often- yours Truly 

D McRaven 

Nov 3th 1864 
Mecklenburg N.C. 
My Dear husband . . . Your sister Eveline stay's with us every 
night I would be so glad if you could get home to stay two weeks 
now I have moste quite looking for you soon you wanted to know 
if I had any shoes made yet I have none made and I dont see how 
I am to get any made I have no insoles yet I sent Jeff over to 
Dick Beards yesterday after that lother they sent a pound and a 
half and it is no manner account I am so mad as I can be about 
it I think I will send it back when I hear from you if I dont before 
I will try to get some lother some where else if I can I cant get 
about my self and I have no one to send that I have any confi- 
dence in write soon and let me know what you think I had better 
do Jeff gets along slow sowing wheat he cant get the corn dry 
long enough to get it gathered the first wheat sowed is coming 
up he is done gathering peas all but this peace before the door 
he gathered corn Tuesday in that peace next to the big road I 
think I will make him put up our hogs soon now McRaven I have 
not had [al chance to send your over coat and blanket to you 
yet I ask William Beard yesterday if he would take them to you 
next week if I would pay his way on the cars he said he would 
I want to send you some things to eat to I dont like the thoughts 
of the negroes living so much better at home than you and write 
to me as soon as you get this letter and if you cant get home I 
will send William soon I thought about you all day yesterday 
and wondered if you was standing out in that coald rain I have 
no news much to write to you only they ordered them salt makers 
at Charleston to camp and they ran away and come home and 

they Telegraphed after them to Charlotte they caught 

Tuesday with the dog's and took him of tied I have not 

heard from the rest the children all sends howdy to you [and 
they] told me to ask you when you are comeing home and great 
many other things that I cant write I will get your shoes made as 
soon as I can I need my own very bad I was mad at Adline Hux 

Correspondence of David and Amanda McRaven 61 

yesterday she came here with three or four pair of shoes for 
Jeff to make to get his attention drawed of from his other work 
Dick Beard came home last night after his horse write soon take 
good care of your self good bye My dear husband 

N.A. McRaven 

Nov 5th 1864 
Amanda I have just read your kind Letter Dated Nov 3 I am glad 
to hear that you and the Children are all well It Does me mutch 
good and . . . [makes me] . . . thankf ull when I am apiece [away] 
that those that I have so Dear are under the protection of a 
Merciful God who is able to Shield you from all harm- I am in 
good health and have no Care but for you and the Children You 
must not atempt to send any thing to me yet I am Doing very well 
and Can Do for two or three weeks yet I Do not want you to try 
to have me any shoes made until I find that I can not Do better 
there is a Report that we will Be Returned next week and get 
home a Month it may not be true but I hope there is something 
of it as there is many of us nearly Barefoot and we get no Shoes 
or Clothes of any kind 46 and there are other Regiments [word 
torn away] -ing in for a Day or two Send nothing untile you 
hear [from] me . . . three of Our men will Come in to night and 
if there is any Chance of me going home I will Do my Best- you 
Spoke of my Being Out in the Rain it is not as bad to stand 
Raped in my Blanket as you think I have Stood mutch harder 
things on the farm write often My own Amanda 

D McRaven 

Nov 10th 1864 
Mecklenburg N.C. 
My Dear husband We are all well this morning but my self I 
was very unwell yesterday . . . [She tells of her disappointment 
that he has not come home and speaks of what may happen to the 

46 As mentioned before (see above, p. 58, n. 43) the Confederacy assumed the responsibil- 
ity of supplying clothing to its soldiers ". . . as far as possible . . ." This was in August, 
1861. In December, 1862, a general order went out directing that all soldiers receive a com- 
plete uniform once within a three-year period. General Orders, 1882-63 series, Order no. 100. 

As early as April, 1863, two years before the end of the war, this general order was 
issued: "Upon the death of any soldier, the surgeon in charge of the hospital at which it 
occurs will cause an inventory to be made of all his military clothing, and will make a fair 
appraisement of each article thereof. It will then be turned over to the nearest quarter- 
master for reissue." General Orders, 1863 series, Order no. 49. In light of this order one 
could not expect guards to receive much, if any, clothing. 

Prisoner accounts of the clothing shortage at the prison sound atrocious when they relate 
how the dead were stripped of their clothing by the living. One prisoner said, "Things have 
come to such a state with us that it is absolutely necessary to strip the dead to relieve the 
needs of the living. It looks inhumane to carry the poor dead bodies to the dead-house 
naked. . . ." B. F. Booth, Dark Days of the Rebellion, 153. This, to the prisoners, seemed 
even more heinous when Dr. Currey, chief surgeon of the prison, appointed a prisoner to 
". . . receive the extra clothing and valuable articles of all dying in the wards. . . ." (Letters 
and Orders, Salisbury Hospital, May, 1864-April, 1865, 54. In War Department Archives, 
Washington, D. C.) and to ". . . re-issue it among the living." A. D. Richardson, The 
Secret Service, The Field, The Dungeon, and Escape, 414. When these facts are pointed out 
the treatment of the prisoners seems more understandable, though no less severe. Un- 
fortunately a nation will not cease fighting a war until it has been reduced to such dire 

62 The North Carolina Historical Review 

children if she does not survive the ordeal of childbirth.] 
Ellen Gibbs two little girls is about to die with the bad sore 
throat 47 that keeps me uneasy that bad disease has come so near 
I am afraid our children will have it Jeff get along very slow 
with his work it keeps a raining so he cant get the corn dry 
enough to gather or the ground dry enough to plow he is runing 
three plows today the ground is very wet Alsy is plowing here to 
get Jeff to sow their wheat and help them plow when he gets done 
ours Joe and Liz has cut nearly all the corn stocks he works well 
at any thing he can do he told me to tell you fan had never 
throwed him yet but she tramped on his foot and made his squall 
I will tell you what Isabella and myself has been doing since you 
went away I put in a web and Isabella wove it out then I put in 
another and Gilly is weaving it I have made two comferts and 
quilted one quilt and a good deal of other sowing besides I got a 
letter from sister Martha a few dayes ago she sent her respects 
to you she had got a letter from Joe that was wrote the 18 of last 
month he said he got my letter he was well and said the yankees 
come very near getting him the last fight Brotherton is at Peters- 
burg and Sherrill is at Raleigh writing for Malette but he ex- 
pects to be sent to Salisbury to do light duty Uncle Tomy Kerns 
has just left here he called to see how we were getting along and 
to see you he heard you were to be at home this week to stay- 
sixty dayes McRaven I do want you to come home and stay until 
I get well so bad the children all send howdy to you write soon 
good bye my dear husband 

N.A. McRaven 

Nov 12th 1864 
Amanda I got your Letter this morning and I saw Richard 
Beard and hear that you are still going about, [The child was 
born on this day.] I wish you were through your trouble for I 
have been Dissappointed and still kept up hope that I would get 
to go and see you but I have not got any Chance yet and I Do 
not know when I will my officers Can Do nothing for me I am 
well and on Duty to Day as usual I cannot write but a few lines 
to you as I have only Stopd on My post to write Do not attempt 
to send Me any thing untile you get able to go about take care 
of yourself and Let me hear from you soon, I write this so that 
you may get it Monday I must Stop 

D McRaven 

Nov 13th /64 
Craignead N.C. 
Dear Brother, Amanda wished me to inform you of her present 
circumstances . . . [The story of the birth is given.] . . . there was 
too brandy waggons camped down to wards the spring last 

47 The disease referred to is probably diptheria. 

Correspondence of David and Amanda McRaven 63 

night and you may know we had lively times, William will start 
to his regt on Friday the 18th he will take your overcoat and 
some of the stimulas to you you must meet him at the depot when 
the evening train comes in to receive them as he will not have 
time to visit you at the camp as it will throw him behind time 
Our Family is all well at present also your own Little ones Jo 
and Sis was down hear Last night Elen Gibbs oldest Little Girl 
died day before yesterday with the sore throat her other one 
had it bad but is better. . . . 

Jane C[amilla] Beard 

Nov 15th 1864 
My Dear Wife I received a few Lines from Sister Camilla and 
you Cannot tell how mutch I I feeal Relieved since I heard that 
you have Come through Safe So far But I still feeal mutch 
anxiety for you and my only wish would be to be near you and 
try to lighten your Burden and also to see by Baby But that 
Cannot be yet and I only feeal thankful that you are in a fair 
way to be well soon I have tryed hard to get home and Used 
Every honorable means But my Col says that he^ cannot spare 
a man, several Other men have had like Cases in their families 
since we have been here But Could not get home, there are some 
men gets home on trifling excuses and there seems to be partial- 
ity or Bribery going on and we have some very trifling men who 
fein sickness and Shirk from Duty on Every Occasion But I will 
not grumble I feeal two mutch Relieved to utter anything but 
words of thankfulness that my family is protected by an Al- 
mighty to shield from harm all those tender Ones- tell Jo he 
is a good Boy for Cutting stalks I will Bring him some yankey 
Buttons 48 for his coat tell Sis to wait on mother for me and tell 
Molly to kiss mothers Baby and not to hurt it till pa comes home 
and I will come as soon as I can get Leave I will not Bother 
you writing mutch now and will only add that I have good health 
and am thankful for it for I have mutch to do and the nights are 
getting pretty cold 

D McRaven 

Nov 17th 1864 
My Dear husband I am going to try and set up in my bed and 
write you a few words to let you know how I am I am doing 
tolerable well I am very weak yet I sat up a little after nights 

48 Relics, trinkets, and works of handicraft from the northern prisoners were traded to the 
local populace in exchange for food and clothing. This trade was usually done when a detail 
of prisoners was out of the stockade to get water or wood and was quite a prosperous busi- 
ness for the prisoners. 

One prisoner said, "I had the good fortune to go out with the water squad to-day [Nov. 12, 
1864] and succeeded in trading a finger ring for three sweet potatoes, which I ate raw. I also 
cut off two brass buttons from my blouse for which I got the half of a sweet potato pie." On 
December 14 the same prisoner reported that within the stockade "Brass buttons command a 
price ranging from two to three dollars each. . . ." Booth, Dark Days of the Rebellion, 146, 

These letters confirm frequent prisoner references to the interest of Confederates in 
obtaining northern relics. 

64 The North Carolina Historical Review 

two nights the rest is all well I send you a bottle of brandy I want 
you to drink it all your self bring my bottle back with you when 
[you] come home I send you 24 dollars in money and some little 
stuff to eat McRaven I do want to see you so bad come and see 
me and my big baby soon as you can, . . . Jeff is hauling corn 
to day out of the old field to day he say the old field will make 
eight loads I cant write any more write soon your wife until 
death I cant set up any longer 

A.N. McRaven 

Nov 19th 1864 
Dear Wife I heard from you Last night by William and I got a 
Bag of provisions and a Bottle of Brandy and otherthings But 
I was glader to get a few Lines in your own handwriting I could 
see By your writing that you were weak but we may Look for 
you to be so for a while I have a cold for a few Days that makes 
me feal very Stuped and Sore this is a very Cold wet Day I hope 
it will not last Long my Overcoat is just in time I want to see 
you and Our Baby more than you have any thought of I want 
to see Jo and Sis and Molly tell Sis I Eat her Chestnuts to Day 
I have nothing perticular to write only to take very good Care of 
yourself untill you get stronger Tell Jeff that I want him when 
he gets Done Sowing wheat to go on Sowing Oats in the field 
across the Branch before the Dore tell him to plow it in the way 
that we plowed the Corn Let him work at [it] in good weather 
and tell Jeff I want him to keep good fires for you while you are 
Sick tell him to Cut wod any where he Can get it Easiest untile 
he gets the Crop gathered I do not know when I can get horn I 
must get home if I can to get shoes for my shoes are nearly Don 
I Do not want any one to try to make shoes for me untile I find 
I cannot Do any Better. Tell Isabella that I intended to write a 
page to her But the Smoke is Coming right in my face and I must 
Stop . . . 

Yours D McRaven 

[Tuesday] Nov 22th 1864 

My Dear husband I received your letter last night and I all wayes 
get disapointed I am looking for you to have some set time for 
to come home in every letter you write if you can get home by 
getting bare feet burn them old shoes up or do some thing to 
them we are all well but my self I mend very slow I get out of 
heart every now and then I sent for the old doctor Sunday to 
come and see me he never got here untill to day I had him and 
Mrs McAuley both for dinner to day he said I must take two or 
three portions of blue mass and take good care of my self he 
thought I would get a long very well I am setting up in bed a 
writing and I cant write very good I think I have^ a very pretty 
baby I dont know how you can keep from deserting [to] come 
home to see it the children loves it to death most Mollie would 

Correspondence of David and Amanda McRaven 65 

kiss it all the time if we would let her we eat the last of our old 
bacon this morning all but one old ham Jeff killed that pig we had 
up this morning I was wishing you could be here to eat dinner 
with us Jeff keeps very good fires for me he wants to see you 
most as bad as I do he told me [to] tell you howdy for him tell 
you he had three or four loads of corn to hall and he would be done 
he dont think we made quite as much as we made last year I will 
have to quit writing I cant write half [of what] I want to write 
to you Write soon good bye My dear husband 

A McRaven 

[Tuesday] Nov 29th 1864 
My Dear husband We are all well but my self and Joe I am a 
little stronger than I was when you went away but it is not much 
Joe has a pain in the head since dinner time yesterday he is some 
better this morning I think it is cold he wet his head Sunday in 
cold water Isabella got me one pint of whiskey Saturday I am 
drinking my bitters now I cant tell whether it will do me any 
good or not them two waggons camped here last night I got a gal- 
lon of brandy from them I wish you had half of it they give the 
children a washpan ful of chenuts McRaven I am uneasy to hear 
from you you look so bad when you were at home and went off 
not well Saturday evening after you left Aunt Betsy and Sis and 
Reeca and all their children came over and stayed untile Sunday 
evening they all sent their best respects to you and said they 
were sorry they did not come a night sooner so they got to seen 
you Uncle Joe is going to over see for Martha next year Aunt 
Betsy said Sherod [Little] stop [ped] to see [Elbert] Sherril in 
Raleigh he said he was fretting him self to death he said he did 
not even have a tin cup to take a drink of water out of he thought 
if he would fix him self for camping out they would keep him 
they said Julia 49 was at home a fretting as bad as he was Ester 
sent me word they was so many folks here that day she was here 
she could not talk to me about the babys name 50 but I must call 
it for her and she would give it a present that never would ware 
out now you must say what you got to say about it I am not in 
any hury nameing it I heard about that fight they had in Salis- 
bury that evening after you left I heard that 

had taken up with one of them bad wemon in Charlotte and was 
doing no good dont you forget your self and go among them 
filthy weman I have more confidence in you than that I want you 
to write soon and write how you are I am tired setting up it is 
most night and Joe is lyeing in bed with me he is still complain- 
ing with his head the Jane Bryson place went to over five hun- 
dred dollars Sosserman got it come home ever chance you get 
take good care of your self you affectionate wife untile death 
good bye me dear husband. 

A. McRaven 

49 Julia Nantz, sister of Mrs. McRaven, was the wife of Elbert Sherrill, 
"See p. 46, n. 16. 

66 The North Carolina Historical Review 

[November] 29th 1864 
Amanda I Landed here safe with All my plunder Saturday night 
I was put on guard soon Sunday morning and have bin kept Busy 
ever since I am well and anxious to hear from you, you Can have 
no Idea how I hated to leave you Saturday morning If you were 
well and able to get about I would not be So uneasy take good 
care of yourself and do not try to Do too mutch and try and think 
as little about me as you can be cheerful and listen to the Chil- 
dren and all their fun and it will do you good I feal thankfull 
that you have come through safe so far and Our Baby it is a 
Jewell I hope that you and me will be spared with it tho we are 
parted for a time now I have nothing particular to write there 
is some talk of Our getting home for 20 Dayes but Expect it will 
not amount to any thing- they yankies tryed to break out Last 
Friday they killed three of Our men and hurt several more our 
men was prompt to their Duty and killed Some 18 or 20 and 
wounded a god many more the yankies when they found our men 
ready and willing to kill them fell Down on their Bellies and 
beged like Dogs 51 Our men have no Confidence in them now and 
rather wish them to try it again so that they Can get to kill more of 
them 52 there was one killed last night and our men will kill them 

51 This was the most desperate attempt of the prisoners to break out of Salisbury Prison. 
The attempt failed because of lack of concerted action on the part of the prisoners. There 
are many accounts of this attempted break and they all generally agree in detail. 

Major Gee, reporting to General J. H. Winder, Commissary-General of Prisoners, stated 
that on November 25 ". . . the prisoners of war confined in C. S. military prison at this 
place made a desperate attempt to escape by overpowering the relief guard of nine men and 
sergeant as they were coming out of the prison after relieving the guard stationed in the 
prison for the purpose of guarding hospitals, water, separating prisoners, and enforcing 
proper policing. 

"They succeeded in getting possession of most of the guns and commenced an attack on 
the sentinels on the parapet at the same time that a rush of about 1,000 was made for the 
water gate and that part of the fence near the sinks where there are no troops encamped. . . . 

"The result of the affair was 2 of the guard killed, 1 mortally wounded, and some 8 or 10 
slightly wounded. 

"The prisoners had 13 killed, 3 mortally wounded, and 60 others wounded. . . ." Official 
Records, ser. 2, VII, 1230. 

One prisoner described the attempted break thus: "At 3 P.M. the signal was given, and a 
number, armed with clubs sprang upon the relief guard of sixteen men as they were entering 
the yard, while others rushed on the guards stationed in the grounds. Weak and emaciated 
as the prisoners were, they performed their work well. They wrenched the guns from the 
soldiers, and those resisting were bayonetted on the spot. Every gun was taken from them, 
and they made for their camp outside, where, being reinforced by a rebel regiment on its 
way to Wilmington, together with the citizens, who had turned out with shot-guns, pistols, 
or whatever other weapon was the nearest at hand, we were overpowered, though we had 
captured one of the field-pieces. There was no organized action; several thousand prisoners 
rushing to one point only, instead of making attempts to break down the fence in different 
places thus confusing the guards on the fence. The attempt was futile, as we had neither 
hammers nor axes with which to make an opening in the fence. . . . Sixteen prisoners were 
killed, . . . and sixty wounded, of whom many had no part in the outbreak and many were 
ignorant of it till they heard the firing." R. A. Dempsey, "An Account from the Ranks," 
from 121st. Regiment Pennsylvania Infantry Survivor's Association Review Edition (Phila- 
delphia, 1906), 180-181. 

52 There are many accounts of prison life written by the prisoners but these letters are 
unique in that they give the point of view of a guard. This attitude of the guards was often 
suspected by the prisoners who thought of it as a most dastardly crime. Prisoners seldom 
could see the "restraint" on the part of the. guards and often expressed the opinion that 
guards deliberately shot prisoners in order to get a furlough. At any rate, when one reads 
the prison accounts, especially at Salisbury, it would seem that the Salisbury Prison guards 
were particularly heartless. A little research shows that this same thing occurred at other 
prisons, both in the North as well as the South. For discussion of this point see John P. C. 
Shanks, chairman, Report of Committees of the House of Representatives made During the 
3rd. Session of 40th. Congress, 1869 (Government Printing Office, 1869) 887, 894, 911; Joseph 
Ferguson, Life Struggles in Rebel Prisons, A Record of the Suffering, Escapes, Adventures 
and Starvation of the Union Prisoners (Philadelphia, 1865), 60; J. H. Browne, Four Years 
in Secession, 327-328; Henry C. Dickinson, Diary of Captain Henry C. Dickinson, C.S.A., 61; 
William H. Knauss, The Story of Camp Chase, A History of the Prison and its Cemetery, 
Together with other Cemeteries where Confederate Prisoners were Buried, Etc. (Nashville 
and Dallas), 263. 

Correspondence of David and Amanda McRaven 67 

Every chance write soon I must write to J Beard on the other 
Leaf I just got a letter from him 

D McRaven 

Dec 1st. 1864 
Amanda I received a few lines from you I am glad to to hear that 
you are improving if it is Slowly It makes me uneasy to hear of 
Jo being sick I hope it will only be cold I have been pushed hard 
since I came back this is the first Day of rest I have got since 
Sunday I was of Duty one Day but had to work hard that Day 
fixing up our tent I gave out that Evening and had to lie Down a 
hour before Sundown I felt bad but went on Duty yesterday 
morning and have just now got off I am Sound as a Dollar and 
feeal well Except I am very sleepy I wrote you a few lines to- 
gether with John Beard and told you something of Our yanky 
Bust they Made but little by it Our men will Shoot them now 
On Every Occassion I saw one shot Down yesterday like a Beef — 
thy yankies were Building a Chimney in the old factory if gave 
way and Smashed down and killed two yankies and Crippled 
Several more 53 — Amanda I think you will have to name Our Baby 
for Ester she has been kind to us and I Do not Care whether She 
makes it a present or not past kindness is Sufficent I was so 
mixed up when I Started Away last I Do not know wheather I 
told you some things that I wanted to tell you I [n] the first place 
I was to ask Many ann if she was willing to stay with you untile 
Christmas and if she was to keep her we will need her to help to 
gather the cotton and sow wheat and oats you will speak to Mary 
an and if she is not willing to stay let her go home I forgot to 
ask her Ester told me that when Aleys time was out with Rich- 
ard she wanted her to have one week for Christmas then she was 
to go to Our house we did not Set any price on her untile we 
found what negroes would hire for next year I cannot mind 
whether I told you about it or not I would like for you to offer 
Ester pay for Mary anns time the first chance you*know how 
long she has been hired, and I wish you could send the money up 
to James Beard to pay for that side of upper Leather, I want our 
Debts paid, allso Dr. Willson if he Calls again it Might be if you 
would send Jeff Down to Sossmans with an order you Could get 
a pound or two of sole Leather we have not got Enough and as 
soon as Jeff gets Done Sowing wheat I want him to make the 
Children shoes I charged him to take time and make them well 
and to make them large Enough that they would not hurt their 
feet>- have no fears of me forgetting My Duty to God, to you my 

53 A prisoner tells of the falling of a chimney, though he dated the incident January 3, 
1865. It is possible that both these references are to the same incident. This prisoner de- 
scribed the incident thus: "This morning the big hospital (or Slaughter House, as it is 
justly named ) , presented a sad spectacle. When the chimney was erected, it was placed on 
the inside of the hospital wall. The material used was a very poor quality of soft brick. It 
was built up from the ground without any foundation being placed under it and the result is, 
the lower course of brick were crushed and the whole structure fell the full length of the 
building, killing ten men and wounding several others." Booth, Dark Days of the Rebellion, 

68 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Children, My Country, and my self But Ever remains your hus- 
band, D McRaven P.S. I will be shure to Come Every Chance. 
Give Jeff one Dram for me D.M. 

[Sunday] Dec 4th 1864 

Mecklenburg N.C. 
My Dear husband I received your letter Friday and I was glad 
to hear you had got well and was talking about coming home 
again you stayed so short a time at home when you were here I 
was dreading the starting time so bad I did not enjoy it we are 
all tolerably well to day Joe has got well and I have got so I can 
walk across the house I mend very slow Mollie has been bad sick I 
did not think she would live Friday night she was out of her 
head most all night and threatened with spasmens I think it was 
worms I sent for Camilla after 8 oclock and her and Isabella 
worked with her moste all night she lay in bed all day yesterday 
she is up to day but has not eat any thing yet scarsly since friday 
I think she will get well now the little babe is doing very well 
Mr Ranson cald in here yesterday he looked at the baby he said it 
was a right McRaven I have no news to write to you only Mike 
Hager died yesterday and your old negro Sezar died last night 
John settled with Sossaman yesterday he gave them four hun- 
dred dollars Mr Caldwell allowed them three hundred and fifty 
and Mclure allowed them four hundred Jeff has get nearly done 
sowing wheat he is done that field above Johns spring he 
soak [ed] more wheat then sowed it and he is sowing your tobacco 
patch and ^potato patch with what wheat he had left I think he 
had better take the government hay and fodder away before long 
I am afraid they will come and take more than I will want them 
to take I dont know how much hay to give them I have thirteen 
of the prettyest pigs you have seen one sow has seven and the 
other six there is preaching at Richard Beards this evening 
Isabella and sis is gone McRaven I want you to come home as 
soon as you can I want to see you as bad as ever you are out of 
hearing of family troubles now and I have them all to bear now 
I slep none friday night and I felt very bad all day yesterday 
write soon and tell me next time you are coming home to stay 
20 dayes your wife untill death good bye My dear husband 

A. McRaven 

Dec 8th 1864 
My Dear husband we are all well this morning but myself and 
I am not sick it is weakness that is the matter with me I have not 
been to the kitchen yet I can go about in the house Mollie has 
got well as common she looks pale since she had that brash I 
have just finished cutting Joes shoes out Jeff is makeing them to 
day I expect they well be shoes again me and Jeff gets done with 
them I sent Jeff to the tanyard yesterday to get some more lother 

Correspondence of David and Amanda McRaven 69 

he got none nor no promise of any Jeff wants to take his corn to 
Charlotte next week I will send with him to get some if he can I 
was a going to send him to Sossamans Monday and John Beard 
said he heard Sossaman say a day or two before that he had none 
and I never sent him James Beard ask 30 dollars for taning that 
side of upper lother McRaven I wish you would send me word 
what arrangements you and Holbrooks 54 made about work he 
sayes he is to work at the old price and you were to let him have 
what ever he wanted at the old price he sent up here yesterday 
for two bushels and a half of corn I want to know what you 
charge him for corn I had a notion to not let him have it Mary 
ann is here yet she dont want to go home when her time is out 
her and Alsy is picking cotton to day Jeff will get done sowing 
oats in one day I give him leave to have a candy stew saterday I 
dont know whether I done right or not he wants you to get him a 
set of banger strings in Salisbury if you can he said he would 
pay you for them send them in a letter Mr. McNeely cald here 
Monday evening and stayed about two hours he is gradeing a 
little peace of road at Charlotte he was there that day you went 
away working close by where you took the train but he said he 
did not know you were there he said he wanted to see you verry 
bad he looks verry well he thinks they will build this road up 
between now and spring he said he had not been home since June 
before he said he would call here Christmass Isabella is going 
home the last of this week I dont know what I will do if I cant 
get Eveline to stay with me I have not ask her yet whether she 
will stay with me or not I have been in the kitchen since I com- 
menced writing I am verry limber in the knees when I go to 
walk McRaven if you dont quit wearing your self out down there 
I wont own you when you come home ... I have the baby in the 
cradle and I cant write for fighting Sis and Mollie off of it Mollie 
sayes tell you she is rocking the baby Joe send howdy to you and 
Sis sayes you must get some yankee buttons for her they all 
want to see you and me wants to see you worst of any write soon 
and come home soon as you can good bye my dear 

Amanda McRaven 

Salisbury Dec 11th 1864 
Amanda I have just Come of guard it [is] very Sloppy & wett 
but I am well Except my throat is Some what sore I am allways 
so sleepy when I get a chance to write to you that I cannot write 
mutch of a L[e]tter I am glad to hear that you can walk about 
a little If I was with you I think you would get well faster I think 
you study to mutch about me, If I could only be with you- Aman- 
da you must do what Ever you think best about the shoes, get 
Leather from Charlotte if you can it will not [be] but about 2 
pounds if Jeff goes to Chariot Some one Should go with him tell 
Jeff to take pains and make the Childrens shoes good, I cannot 

B * Sam Burton Holbrook was a near neighbor and father of John Holbrook who later 
married Ester Jane McRaven. 

70 The North Carolina Historical Review 

find any Strings for him here Holebrooks is too fast getting 
Corn from you do not let him have any more I promised to do 
as he said but I Do not want any corn Sold untile I see Our hogs 
killed and Our tithe paid, if you send the Hay and fodder up get 
John to look at my returns and shew Jeff how mutch to take 
Amanda I Cannot Direct you about Every thing for when I began 
to write So many things Crowd into my mind about you that I 
forget the things I should write tell Molly she is pas own Baby 
and a good Child for rocking the little Baby Dont hurt it Molly 
tell Siss I will try to get her some Buttons tell Jo he is a good 
Boy I want him to keep fires for Ma and Do not Cut his feet with 
xne ax. . • 

D McRaven 

Dec 13th 1864 
Mecklenburg N.C. 
My Dear husband I received two letters from you last night one 
of them I ought to have got laste week I had began to think it 
was a long time between times we are all well this morning I 
have the cold right bad and the weather is so bad I cant get out 
of the corner I have never been to the kitchen but twice yet you 
said if you were at home I would mend faster that is so I am 
not satisfied and any one that is not well and their mind not at 
ease cannot mend very fast you ask me not to think about you 
much I try to be negro once and a while and let every thing go 
for what it is worth but it wont do the first thing I know I will 
be as deep as ever in thoughts I try to do the best I can Isabella 
is gone home she said she would come back a Christmass Eveline 
is staying with me now Joe has got his shoes made and Jeff is 
makeing Sis and Mollies shoes to day I think we have moste 
enough of lother for our shoes Jeff borrowed insoles for his 
shoes from Sarah Hux [and we are to] pay it back in the spring 
when we get ours I will send when he goes to charlotte and get a 
pound of sole lother McRaven Dickson Ewart is going to start 
to Salisbury Thursday in the waggon I am going to send you a 
little of something to eat by him if I keep well enough them 
waggons is to be long this week and if they have any liquor I 
will send you a little by Dickson I have nothing new to write to 
you we killed our two hogs last week one weighed hundred and 
forty and the other one hundred and twenty Jeff sayes our other 
hogs are fattening verry fast I have not seen them since they 
were put up it is cold to day and the children crowded around the 
firs so I cannot half write sis sayes she will send y6u some ches- 
nuts when she gets them and Mollie sayes she will send you some 
potatoes Joe told me to tell you howdy and for you to come home 
Christmass and he would kill the old turkey gobler I will go his 
havers in that Jeff and Gilly send howdy to you write soon if I 
send that stuff to you by Dickson send my poaks back with 
the waggon if you dont want them your wife untill death come 
as soon as you can A. McRaven 

Correspondence of David and Amanda McRaven 71 

Dec 14th 1864 
[McRaven] ... we are all well to day I have stired about more to 
day than I have ever done yet I am very tired to night I am not 
very strong yet but I f eal more like I was going to get well yes- 
terday and to day than I have ever done yet I am going to send 
Jeff down to Mr Ewarts in the morning with a bottle of brandy 
for you and some stuff for you to eat I could not do very much 
to it myself I had done as well as I could I wish you would send 
some of my poaks back with Mr. Ewarts waggan if you have no 
use for them McRaven Miss Ester told Mary ann to ask if we 
would hire her and Alsy both Mary Ann dont want to go home 
I am not willing to hire more than one but what ever you say I 
will do the children has got their shoes made Mrs Hux is going 
to lend Jeff insoles and John said he would lend him two soles 
I think we can make out with what we have then I want [to] try 
Bob White or Potts negro for a wool hat for Joe he is moste bare 
headed we have not get any of our cotton picked out yet scarsely 
the weather is so bad we cant get any thing done scarsely them 
waggans came along yesterday evening I got a cheese from them 
I am going to send you a chunk of it and a bottle of brandy for 
a Christmass gift if you dont come home for Christmass I would 
be so glad to see you the children send you some chesnuts I send 
[a] taste of sassage meat I think the little babe is getting very 
pretty it has pale blue eyes like yours the children had a great 
deal of news for me to write to you but it is getting late I cant 
write it let me hear from you soon my dearest husband 

A. McRaven 
let me hear if [you] get your provisions and how you like it 

Dec 18th 1864 
Meclenburg N.C. 
My Dear husband I have not got but two letters from you in two 
weeks you were complaining on me not writing but I begin to 
think that it is you that is going to fail or I write to often one 
I heard the home guards were going to take the Reserves place 
and let you come home a while I would be so glad if it was so we 
are all well to day I have not got so I can do a dayes work yet I 
have been sewing some but I get verry tired a gain night comes 
I dont gather strength very fast Jeff had his candy stew last 
night they behaved them selves very well Johns folks were all up 
here but Camille and Ellick Samuel Hux was here to Jeff went 
to charlotte Friday with his corn he got a hundred and forty 
dollars for 8 bushels I sent with him for sole lother he got Wil- 
liam Bell to try round for him and could not get any for less than 
25 or 30 dollars and no account at that and he never get any 
I think I will send him over to Robert Nixons some time this 
week to see if he can get any lother there John promised [to] let 
Jeff have two soles for his shoes and now he sayes he cant spare 
it if he had let us have them two soles I thought we would have 
enough Jeff took the hay and f ooder up to the College yesterday I 

72 The North Carolina Historical Review 

sent your returns with him and got receiptted right and sent back 
we have not got that dayes plowing of oats done yet nor the cot- 
ton picked out either the wether is so bad we dont get much done 
McRaven John said you wanted him to take part of that big cow 
hide at the tanyard I want to know how much you allow him to 
have you never said any thing to me a bout it and I did not know 
what to sayes to him I want to know if you want us to keep the 
hogs up and make them as fat as we can or kill them before long 
and not fead to much corn to them my shoes is so bad and the 
ground so wet I cant go that far to see how they look if the 
weather is not to bad I am going to send Joe to school in the 
morning I f eal like I dont want to spare him since you went away 
I can send him a bout to see to some things that I would not know 
any thing about if it was not for him William Hasting was here 
Thursday I ask him to Still us a run of whiskey he said they were 
not doing any good a stilling and he had stoped them that day 
he said they only made five gallons for a run he said he would do 
it as soon as they could make a turnout I have Miss Ann Maxwell 
this evening they say negroes are going to hire for as much more 
as they did this year the children send howdy to you write soon 
and come home as soon as you can my dear husband your wife 

A.N. McRaven 

Dec 20th 1864 
Amanda I Received a letter from you to Day you scolded me for 
not writing to you the reason I Did not write to you is that I hurt 
my finger and Could not write Besides I have been Expecting to 
start home Every Day for a week I do not know when I wile get 
[to] John Johnson Can tell you how we are fixed, I sent my 
Cloths and my knapsack home in Dixon Ewarts waggon and I 
am as Dirty as a hog I hope that I will get horn Soon you must not 
let any one have any Leather on no account, nor corn either 
Except it may be a little to a waganeer, let the hogs be a few 
Days I think I will get home soon John Johnson will tell you all 

[D. McRaven] 

Dec 21 — 1864 
Amanda I thought I would have Ben at home with you before 
this time But the home guard has been sent on to Winston 
[-Salem] and we have to stay here you kno my feelings, I will not 
attempt to write mutch my finger hurts me it is my Right fore 
finger I got it hurt last Monday week on the wood train, R 

55 It is not clear how or why a guard would hurt his finger hauling wood to the prison. 
Among the many shortages at the prison was that of wood for fuel. Wood was obtained 
chiefly by hauling it on the train but teams were also employed. Though the quartermaster 
had made efforts earlier in the summer to obtain wood, that article still remained scarce 
during the winter. A Confederate account tells of procuring wood: "A train ran regularly 
on the Western Railroad to transport wood. Fifty or sixty of the prisoners went with it as a 
detail for loading and unloading. Numbers of wagons were frequently, if not constantly, 
employed in hauling wood to them. The wood-yard was immediately on the Central road, 
near the crossing just west of the stockade. It was carried thence by the prisoners who 
passed to and fro between a line of sentinels. The wood-master was allowed as large a detail 
for this purpose as he thought necessary." A. W. Mangum, History of the Salisbury Prison, 
322-323; see also Official Records, ser. 2, VIII, 253. 

Correspondence op David and Amanda McRaven 73 

Hunter will call and see you he will tell you any thing about our 
not getting home that you wish to kno, You must not let Hole- 
brok have any more corn nor any one else Except perhaps a wag- 
ganer untill I get home, John Beard can not get any of that cow 
hide keep it all, my cloths and knapsak is at Dixon Ewarts if you 
have not sent for it I kept one Blanket you must sent it back with 
Hunter Do not Bother yourself trying to send provisions I only 
need my clothes and Blanket Amanda I cannot write it hurts my 
finger so bad and I am on guard to Day kiss all the Children for 
me I am well and hope to see you before . . . [long] 

D McRaven 

Dec 22d 1864 
[This letter is written on the back of the page containing the 
letter dated Dec. 21st.] 

Amanda I will send these letters By mail after having them 
Backed 56 1 am well I Do not kno wheather Hunter will get home 
or not It is hardly light I was on guard yesterday & Last Night 
it is midling cold I have to be at the gate of The garrison at Sun 
up — I am afraid I will not be with you Crismas Save me a Dram 
If you hev any tell the negros to be Carefull and not have any 
Bad Company about and I Do not want Mary an next year there 
is only Land fo two hands I am hurt about not getting home I 
want to Se you Bad 

Yours D McRaven 

Dec 25th 1864 
Amanda I am not Enjoying my Christmas quite as well as I could 
wish I have just got of Duty & I am sleepy, and more I want to 
be with my own Dear wife and my children My hopes was high a 
few Days Back we were actually fixing up to start home when the 
Order was Countermanded, You can only tell how Bitterly I was 
Disappointed. You my wife that know how I long to be with you, 
I have thought of you and Dreamed of you mutch for the Last 
week. . . . Stern Duty Binds me here but I Still remain hopef ull I 
still cherish the One Dear Idea that I will . . . [get to come home 
soon.] Amanda I am getting romantic you will laugh at an old 
fellow 48 years writing Love like a boy I will try and inform 
you how I spent my time in the first place I am in good health 
my finger is getting well tho it hurts me a good Deal to write 
the face of my right fore finger was mashed of to the Bone I 
could see the Bone, I have nursed it as carefully as I could with 
the Dr. Directions it is healing up and is not injured in shape, I 
have nothing to read nor no time to Read I am on guard Every 
other Day I came of at 10 o clok Sleep till 12 then help to Cary 

56 "Backed" in that day and time referred to addressing a letter. Perhaps this idea stemmed 
from the fact that letters in some localities had originally heen folded and the address written 
on the back of the letter, thus eliminating the need for an envelope. 

74 The North Carolina Historical Review 

watter and wood and quarrel with any one that I hear grumbling 
untill night then sleep all that I can to be ready to mount guard 
at 10 again when on guard most of my time is taken up thinking 
of you and that Makes these Long Cold Dreary nights pass away 
more agreable then you might think I often see things to amuse 
me among the yankies they steal from Each Other, and it is very 
common to see them fight Each other like Dogs 57 Our men often 
act like heathern they officers of Masses Batalion have an old 
fellow that calls himself a Quaker in tow they have ben working 
with him this is the third Day, he will not cary a gun they have 
Strapped a Musket on his shoulder and tied a rope around his 
neck and three men take him by turns and Drag him around in 
a ring at the trot I think they will Drag the life out of the Old 
Scoundril before Long but they will not make a soldier out of 
him, 58 tell Jeff I want him when Christmas is Over and the Mon 
Changed to kill the hogs if the weather is suitable and I want him 
in Bad weather to Cut some old trees Sutch as will make good 
Rails and work the refuse up for firewood, tell him to pick sutch 
as is on the Decline any where Like we Did when I was at home 
I want that peace of fence reformed between our Barn field and 
Johns tell Jeff to Strip my tobacco of the Stalk some Day and 
make it into hands- tell him and Alsy to do whatever they think 
will help on towards making a Crop next year Reding up & and 
take care of the stock, if Gilly is needy for shoes make Jeff mend 
up my old shoes and they will answer untill we get her better ons, 
I sent you a pair of shears a pocket Book and two knives by 
Hunter, if hunter Brings my things Dont send the Canteen I 
have another tell all the children howdy and kiss the Baby for 

Your husband D McRaven 

57 Perhaps no one would think of such a place as being very pleasant. Within the prison a 
condition existed which tends to explain this statement. Among the prisoners, Confederate 
convicts as well as the northerners, there existed an organization of robbers known as 
"Muggers." Confederate authorities seemed unable to stop the depredations of these men. 

One prisoner described their activities thus: "Men were frequently mugged in the Prison- 
yard. Several of the band would gather around the intended victim, who on a sudden would 
be thrown to the ground; his pockets turned inside out; his coat and hat, sometimes his shoes, 
taken; after which he would be let alone until he obtained more money or clothes to invite a 
fresh attack. 

The Rebel room, in the third story, where the convicts were confined, was the principal 
field for mugging. The wildest cries of pain and terror emanated from that quarter every 
night or two; and daylight would reveal some poor fellow with black eyes, swelled lip, and 
badly cut face, deprived of all his valuables and a large portion of his clothes." J. H. Browne, 
Four Years In Secession, 345-46; see also Official Records, ser. 2, VIII, 248-249. 

58 It is a well known fact that Friends or Quakers, as they are more generally known, will 
not resort to violence. This fact is usually recognized by the government which makes an 
exception of those who are conscientious objectors. The Confederate law on this provided 
exemption from military service to ". . . all persons who have been or now are members of 
the society of Friends and the association of Dunkards, Nazarenes and Mennomists, in regu- 
lar membership in their respective denominations: Provided, Members of the society of 
Friends, Nazarenes, Mennonists and Dunkards shall furnish substitutes or pay a tax of five 
hundred dollars each into the public treasury." Public Laws of the Confederacy, First Con- 
gress, Session II, 1862, chap. 45. It is possible that the person mentioned had failed to pay 
his $500 tax or supply a substitute, which may have been construed by him or them as 
excessively burdensome. Since Salisbury Prison was a detention center for Confederate con- 
victs and there were many Friends in North Carolina, more Friends were imprisoned at 
Salisbury Prison than at any other prison. F. G. Cartland, Southern Heroes or the Friends 
in War Time (Cambridge, 1895), 165, 154, 204, 326, 390. 

Correspondence of David and Amanda McRaven 75 

Dec 27th 1864 
[Part of this letter is torn away.] 

My Dear husband I received your letter last night I thought 
it was a long time a coming I was badly disappointed when I 

heard you were not coming I felt like I sunk a foot and are all 

well this morning I have not gathered [stren]gth yet I am well 
enough other wayes Mollie [was] bad off last week she brok out 
in great splotches [as la] rge as your hand and her face was very 
much [inflamed] she is well enough now we have a very dull 
Christ [mas so] far there was four waggons campted here Sun- 
day night they had a drove of cattle and put them in field back 
of the barn and we fed them they had brandy and apples ches- 
nuts and cheese and I dont know what all Miss Ester sent me 
word to get her a gallon of brandy and not let any one know it 
and [I did.] I let them waggons [almost illegible] have some 
corn and fodder and half bushel of sweet potatoes I got some 
brandy for you if you will come home and get it we have all the 
shoes [ma]de but mine and Jeffs we can do without bying any 
[ot]her by borrowing inside soels from Mrs Hux and one [out] 

side sole from John Beard for Jeff shoes he made nd Liz 

shoes last week I cut them all out Jeffs 1 ready to make as 

soon [as] Christmas is over I have two sides of upper leather 
yet only one vamp 59 of Jeffs I had to take out of one of them 
mine is not cut out yet I have no good last to make them on I 
am waiting for you to come home and make me one Mary Ann 

Saturday and Alsy moved down that same e[vening] the 

hireing us up at Esters next Saturday she [sent word] this morn- 
ing for me to go up to the hireing sat[urday. I] cant go unless 
it is a very good day I dont kno[w what] she wants I sent Liz 

home last Saturday I wrote and sent to Mrs Bratton to know 

if I could get Liz next year as I had her this if she would I would 
take her she wrote back I could get her next year I think we will 
kill our hogs the first of next week if the wether is fit they are 
not near as fat as they ought to be for the time they have been 
up McRaven I was going to send you a poak of provisions] by 
Mr Hunter and I heard to day he did not know whether he would 
go back to morrow or not and I was afraid I would not get it sent 
if I did put it up I put four apples in v- - - your cloaths for you 
John sayes he is going to see you b[efore] long and I will send 

you something by him for you Mr Hunter forty dollars for 

you I did know h [ow] to send to you I had your blanket washed 
and [packed] it if it had not been Christmas I could not get 
hel [p] - - Eveline said tell you she was well and never mind writ- 
ing to her to write to me and the children the children all send 
howdy to you and they want to see you very bad Joe said tell 
you fan never throwed him yet but she was getting scarry since 
she quit working Ester appears to be very proud of the babys 
name if you would see your baby in a strange crowd you would 
not know your own child lots of McRaven in it to gets waked up 

59 A vamp is the part of a shoe just above the sole, covering the toes and extending to the 

76 The North Carolina Historical Review 

at night and sets up as long as I do I dont think it looks like our 
other children I will send you something to eat when John goes 
to see you I am sorry I did not send you something with Hunter 
write soon your wife 

A. McRaven 

Dec 31st 1864 
Amanda this is a Bad wet Day it is snowing prety fast I wish to 
write you a newyears Ltter and I know I cannot write it to- 
morrow for I will be on guard I am just com of now, I am well 
and harty My finger still Bothers me I cannot hold the pencill 
for it presses right on the sore when I right I have nothing par- 
ticular to wright Only to let you know that I got my knapsack 
and all my cloths and Hunter gave me 40 Dollars that you sent 
me I needed my cloths Badly for I had Lots of Big lice on me I 
Changed my Clothes yesterday and killed a Dozen or two of Big 
lice 60 I saw Elbert Sherrel yesterday he has an appointment in 
Salisbury Julia and Martha is well Sherrell Does not Look well 
he does not like to stay from home he is not stout this is a terrible 
muddy place 61 one Can hardly get about it is so Slippery write to 
me soon and tell me all the news I want to hear from home often- 
often tell John and Camilla howdy and tell Eveline I would write 
her a letter but it is hard for me to do it now. untill my finger 
gets well, tell Jo I am glad that he likes to go to school tell Siss I 
have not found her any thing prety yet tell Moly she is my pretty 
Baby and she must Love Mammys little baby and kiss it for me 
tell Jeff that I would like to see him and Gilly too I wrote to you 
before what I wanted don for a while I will write again soon, I 
will come as soon as I can 

D McRaven 

[Sunday] Jan 8th 1865 
My Dear husband I would have wrote by Fridays mail but we 
killed out hogs tuesday and I could not get time if you are like 
me you cant hear to often I heard from you yesterday by John 
Jetton we are all well this morning John Beard said he would go 
to see you this last week but folks bothers him so about shoe 

eo Prisoners suffered even more from lice than did the guards. One prisoner said, concern- 
ing lice, "The poor fellows who have little strength left are always fighting them with 
desperation, but the poor helpless sick and wounded men suffer torture beyond the power of 
language to describe." He also said that in the hospital the ". . . dust and straw on the dirt 
floors seemed as though they were literally alive . . ." with lice. Booth, Dark Days of the 
Rebellion, 182, 275. Prisoners outside the hospital spent warm days ". . . engaged in the 
laudable and necessary duty of hunting graybacks. . . .," as they called lice. He explained 
this process: "The only way to exterminate them is to take off the garment, or what is left 
of it, sit on one end of it while the fighting is carried on at the other end." Booth, Dark 
Days of the Rebellion, 198. It was necessary to sit on one end of the garment to prevent it 
from being stolen. 

61 In February, 1885, an inspector included this in his official report of an inspection of 
the prison: "The most serious objection to this choice of a site for a prison is, however, the 
character of the soil, which is stiff, tenacious red clay, difficult of drainage and which 
remains wet for a long time, and after a rain or snow becomes a perfect bog." Official 
Records, ser. 2, VIII, 246. 

Correspondence of David and Amanda McRaven 77 

makeing he cant get off I dont know whether he will go this week 
or not Joe wants to go with him to see you if he will take him and 
it suit I think I will let him go I have nothing new to write only 
we have Sam Beard for a neighbor he has moved to Ann Max- 
wells and Longmire Dick Beards brotherinlaw has run in here 
from Tennisee to save his life the yankees and union men has 
taken every thing he had only the horse he rode Joe Beards wife 62 
was married Christmas morning to Rufus Washam Jeff was at 
the river mill yesterday and Rany Hagar told him the next time 
he come to mill she was coming home with him to stay a while 
with me she said you ask her to stay and she was going to do it 
I dont think Eveline wants to go back to Johns to stay Isabella 
sent me word she was coming back soon as she gets her shoes 
made it seems that I can have companey plenty but they are not 
the ones I want to be with I rather be [with] you than the whole 
buziness of them dont you think I want you to work I think I 
can make some sort or a living if I dont meete up with Jim 
Brown to often McRaven I was not vexed at trifles Charles only 
allowed Brown to give to hundred dollars Bob Beard was at 
Browns back pushing him up to bid against me so I was told after 
the hireing was over Sarah and her child was put up and Bob 
bid one hundred dollars and got her there was not one bid against 
him Brown tried to get Liz to Mrs Bratton told him he could 
get her next year if I did not want her they are not going to 
tramp on my toes to much and not hear from me I dont ask them 
much odds I have more than enough to pay for Alsy now if this 
kind of money is curent at the end of the year I have seven 
hundred and thirty five dollars I am trying to do for the best 
and to please you as well as myself the children were very proud 
of their letters they laid them away to keep little Ellick Beard 
is very sick to day John is gone after the Doctor I will send you 
the weight of our hogs on a peace of paper it was tolerable good 
meat for small hogs I am going to make some cloth for your 
pants let me know if you want them I do want too see you so bad 
write soon and come soon as you can 

A. McRaven 

[Written at top of this letter is this-] I have a bottle of brandy 
saveing for you when you come home I think your ninty days is 
out now 

Jan 11th 1865 
My husband we are all well to day I was very sick yesterday with 
Sick head ache I am well to day McRaven I send you some fresh 
bones sausage meat and peas potatoes & biscake ginger bread 
ground coffee and a bottle of brandy I got the word late to day 
and I have not time to write much or do much I had the blam 

62 Perhaps the word widow should have been used in the place of wife. However, no one 
seems to be able to explain this situation. 

78 The North Carolina Historical Review 

corn [im] pressor 63 to day I got of with five bushels I dont 
[know] whether they will come back on me or not twas Columb 
Mcoy that was here your brandy is in with your biscakes Ellick 
Beard is some better to day Isabella come back Monday and 
Eveline went back to Johns Lizzy Beard said you must give Mosa 
Alexander a big turnip for her I will write soon I have not time 
to write to day your wife 

A. McRaven 

Jay 11th 1865 
Amanda My Dear Girle I Received a letter from you yester- 
day I was Very glad to hear from you and glad to see a tone of 
liveliness in your letter I have been twice on the point of Starting 
home and had the mortification of having the Order Counter- 
manded I was to go with Moses Alexander but did not get off Our 
Men are getting very mutch Dissatisfied and is runing of there 
was 10 of Our men run off 64 night before last I think they are 
wrong and if you never Se me Amanda untill I slip off like a 
negro it will be a long time for I know that you would be ashamed 
to see me if the weather was good I would like to Se Jo if John 
Comes the roads are very Bad now, I do not need my pants yet 
But I will need them before Spring this is a hard place on Cloth 
the Seat Should be made double for we have to sit on the ground 
or a Brick or a piece of wood just as we get the Chance, night 
before last was a terible night it rained hard all night, I have 
not got any newyears gift for you yet, you must keep my Brandy 
I hope to get home to see you sometime I forgot to tell you that 
George Lytten sent me a Bottle of whiskey it Did not live long 

63 Impressment was another exhibit of the desperate condition into which the Confederacy 
was forced. It is an exhibit, par excellence, of the way wars take away the rights of private 
property, which is something that the English-speaking people value greatly. The Confederate 
law, enacted March 26, 1863, stated "That whenever the exigencies of any army in the field 
are such as to make impressment of forage, articles of subsistence or other property ab- 
solutely necessary, then such impressment may be made by the officer or officers whose duty 
it is to furnish such forage, articles of subsistence or other property for such army." Public 
Laws of the Confederacy, First Congress, Session III, chap. 10, 1863. This property was to 
be paid for by the Confederacy at a set price though the individual had some recourse in 
deciding the price of articles. A typical impressment notice follows. The printed form con- 
tained blank places and the underlined parts here were written on the original notice in 

County, State of 

Jan. 19 1865 

To Mr. 

Sir,- I am authorized by the Commissary General of the Confederate States, under the laws 
of Impressment, to collect supplies for the army, and you are hereby notified that I require 
for use of the army of the Confederate States all the surpulus pork or bacon you 
have, except what the laws aforesaid authorize you to retain. From the best evidence I can 
obtain, the amount you have on hand liable to impressment is [Space is available for an 
estimate, but no estimate is made on this particular form.] 

I offer in payment for the same the sum of three dollars for pork and four dollars for 
Bacon per pound . [This] being the price fixed by the Commissioner for North Carolina 
in the schedule for the month of January 186 ... which you can receive at your election, 
to be made when this notice is served, in Confederate money, 6 per cent, non-taxable cer- 
tificates, or such articles as I am authorized by the Department to exchange for subsistence. 

Should you decline to sell for the price offered, or object to my estimate of your surplus 
you are hereby notified that the said property is impressed for the Government, and the 
whole subject can be referred to arbitrators for settlement, as provided for by said laws. 

The said property will be left in your possession, and at your risk, until it is called for, or 
the appraisement is made, and you are notified not to sail or remove the same." In A. M. and 
W. P. Mangum, Southern Historical Collection. 

64 See p. 61, n. 29. 

Correspondence of David and Amanda McRaven 79 

for I had several to help me William Lytten has Obliged me 
Every Chance I cannot write any More now I am on guard to 
Day tell the Children — I will write to them again kiss them all 
for me tell Eveline howdy 

D McRaven 

Jan 12th 1865 
My Dear husband I have not got a letter from you since last 
Friday I have been uneasy to hear from you Mr Carrigan sent 
me word that you were sick when he was there we are all well to 
day Jeff has not been well for two or three days but he is better 
to day he complained of head ache and his bones aching he never 
stop working he was makeing fence this week he commenced at 
the barn gate and run it down and crossed the branch below the 
road and turned water in that field so we can put the calves in 
there to be handy to roughness and where we milk he was at the 
shop yesterday and got the plows fixed to plow when the ground 
get in fix he has not got that fence between you and John made 
yet Alsy is flying round as lively as you please chopping or doing 
any thing that is to do Jeff is well pleased to and stayes at home 
moste all the time now I have been spinning you pants to day I 
dont get very much done with my four little children following 
after me Joe is going to school every day that is fit to go I am 
going to send Sis when the weather get a little better so she can 
go that triflin Columb McCoy was here yesterday presing corn 
I got off with five bushels if they dont come on me again he said 
they was a man going round that would meashure the crib I dont 
know whether he was triing to scare me or not if he was he 
never got it done it keeps me buizy to hold my hand with mean 
folks Stenhouse came here to borrow the corn sheller to shell 
corn I would not let him have it every few dayes there is some 
body wanting Jeff to do something I dont let him help them un- 
less it some particular one I got the lock you sent Elem Hender- 
son brought it to me brother Albert is [at] Petersburg he has 
joined the church since he went out there Joe is at Petersburg 
to Albert drawed off the way the army was fixed out there and 
sent it to Doctor Johnson he said it was the greatest thing he had 
saw since the war commenced McRaven I sent you some things 
by Mr Johnson son yesterday it was late when he let me know 
he was going and I did not have time to do much or to write much 
let me know if you got your things when you write I sent you a 
bottle of brandy uncle Tom Kerns was here one day last week 
and Mr Caldwell called here one evening this week they both 
asked very particular for you McRaven I do want to see you so 
bad I think some time you see so much to draw your attention 
you will moste forget your wife and children Eveline sayes a man 
never loves but one woman is that so I will have to stop writing 
it [is] nearly ten o clock they are all a sleep but Isabela and 
myself I forgot to tell you I got my new shoes to day John mad?. 

80 The North Carolina Historical Review 

them I am to give him a bushel of corn the children have their 
shoes nearly wore out little Elick is still better write soon the 
children talks about you every day they want to see you very bad 
Mollie ask every night to say her prayers I think the little baby 
is very smart it grows very fast it has clear blue eyes 

Your affectionate wife 

A. McRaven 

Jany 13th 1865 
Dear wife I received a few lines By Lawrance Johnson last 
night and More I got all the good things that you sent me you 
Ought to have seen how quick the Bottle of Brandy Disappeared 
it would have Done you good But it would Do Me more god to see 
you than all the Cakes and Brandy you Could send and you know 
that I Love Brandy — I am well and I am on Duty to Day and 
only have time [to] write you a few lines. I will send Jo a little 
pocket Book Do not let him carry it to school for he will loose it 
I have not got any newyears gift for you yet I would rather 
fetch myself Down to you than to send any thing — we had a 
Big fire in Salisbury this morning just after sun up it Burnd a 
good Chance but I am on guard and Could not go near to see how 
mutch Damage was Done it is Stoped now 65 and I will Stop 
writing to mount guard hoping to see you befor Long 

D McRaven 
[This is on the back of the same letter.] 

4 o-clock in the Evening I am off to get my supper I have nothing 
to tell this Evening only I am well and will get no sleep to night 
I send you a large Darning needle in this Letter and a few Post- 
age Stamps 

Yours truly D McRaven 

Jany 18th 1865 
Amanda I have ben working hard for 3 Days Covering a Cabbin 
for the Col. and Making Boards to Cover a guard house 66 and 
now I have a few minutes to spare I am sitting on some Board 

65 The local newspaper, The Carolina Watchman, stated on January 13, 1865, that "A fire 
was discovered at 7 A.M. in a vacant store room in the G. W. Brown building, now the 
property of J. H. Ennis. It spread with great rapidity to right and left and rear. Almost 
every wood building in Murphey's block and three south of it were destroyed. The Ennis 
brick building now occupied by the Commissary Department arrested fires on the north. The 
buildings of the Q. M. Department were destroyed, and with them some property, but how 
much is not yet known. The loss of movable property, either public or private was not great. 
The fire is believed to have been the work of an incendiary." Fayetteville Observer, January 
16, 1865, excerpt from The Carolina Watchman, Salisbury, January 13, 1865. 

66 Much has been written about the shelter shortage at the Salisbury Prison. Prisoners 
considered the detailing of prisoners to build such log houses as one solution to their shelter 
problem at the prison. Booth, Dark Days of Rebellion, 136-137. An inspector of the prison, 
using his hindsight in February, 1865, stated that "A better plan would have been, failing to 
obtain a sufficient supply of tents, to have constructed cabins of pine logs and shingles, for 
which the material was at hand in abundance, and labor could have been furnished by the 
troops, or, if necessary, by details of the prisoners themselves, working under guard." 

Official Records, ser. 2, VIII, 247. The Confederacy had no real excuse for this negligence. 
Shortage of tools, the small guard, and the fear that the prisoners might break away from 
such details and create much depredation upon the community were reasons that this program 
was never adopted. J. W. Jones, Confederate View of the Treatment of the Prisoners, 
179, 164. 

Correspondence of David and Amanda McRaven 81 

bath [?] waiting for the waggan to come and haul it round to 
our camp I will spend the time writing a few lines to you Aman- 
da you have no Idea how bad I want to see you you you mote [sic] 
of being afraid that I would forget you Rest Easy on that Score 
for I have many a Lonely hour to stand and nothing to Chear 
me Except it is thoughts of you my once hapy home and its 
surroundings it is true that there is a portion of my time spent 
in a crowd but there is a good portion spent intirely alone when 
on post and During that time I am not allowed to speak Except 
to hail and stop any one who may Chance to come on my Beat 
which is very seldom, in these hours I tramp many a weary mile 
walking constantly to keep myself warm 67 and watching the 
prisoners little fires and thinking of the comforts of home and 
the society of wife and children, But I will tire you prosing in 
this manner I am Enjoying good health and I still live in hopes 
that there are happy Days in store for me yet I try to be faithful 
to may Duty and have never been too sick to Eat or mount guard 
since I came here, I have ben working near the gate where the 
yankies are hauled out to Bury there was 4 Loads went out to 
Day 8 at a Load it is now about 3 o clock it looks bad to see 
humanity so carelessly Delt with it would shock any one not used 
to sutch sights 68 but we see it Every Day and it has lost its Ef- 
fect on us tell Jeff to Commence ploughing when the weather is 
good I want him to plough the ground deep and Close h can begin 
when he likes tell him to use his own judgment about many 
things for I cannot think of the farm mutch while I am here, 
you are right not to lend things Every one for if any tool is lost 
or broke I cannot get any more tell Jeff to keep my tool together 
and by and fix for a crop and do the best he can you never told 
me if hunter gave you the things I sent with him he is sick and I 
Do not see him often he is not bad. I sent Jo a pocket Book by 
Lee Brown put it away for him he will loss it as school I must 

67 One prisoner's impression of the activity of the guards bears out these statements. He 
could ". . . distinctly hear the steady tramp, tramp of the rebel guards as they walked their 
beats. . . ." on the stockade wall. "I could hear them cry out in genuine southern dialect: 
'Post number f-o-a-h; f-o-a-h o'clock, and all is well.' " This was taken up by post number five 
and continued around the stockade, being repeated every thirty minutes. Booth, Dark Days 
of the Rebellion, 269-270. 

68 In November, 1864, one prisoner described this feature of Salisbury Prison thus: "About 
2 o'clock the 'dead-wagon' made its daily tour of the grounds, halting at the 'Dead House' to 
load in the bodies lying there, and them passing out at the south gate to the grave yard, or 
trenches, which are about 250 yards south west of the prison. The 'Dead House' was a small 
brick building, situated near the center of the stockade. . . . The dead are gathered up during 
the forenoon, brought to the 'dead house' and piled up against the end like sacks of grain, 
counted by a sergeant who registers the number in a book kept for that purpose." Booth, 
Dark Days of the Rebellion, 121-122. Ten days later this same prisoner said, "I went out 
with the water squad today and, through the kindness of the gray-beard guards, we went to 
the creek by way of the grave yard. We were there while they were unloading the dead, and 
hardened as we were to sights of suffering and acts of inhumane treatment among the 
living, the scenes at the grave yard were such as made the blood almost run cold in our 
veins. There were twelve or fifteen corpse piled on the wagon, laied [sic] in like hogs, and 
entirely destitute of covering of any kind. Two men stood on the wagon and each taking hold 
of a foot and a hand of a corpse, would give it a swing or two and then heave it head long 
into the trench, piling them up three or four deep, and hastily covering them over with a 
few shovelsfull of dirt." Booth, Dark Days of the Rebellion, 157-158. 

Another prisoner described the exit of the dead very vividly. "Into this [the wagon] the 
dead forms were thrown one upon another like the carcasses of dead animals, their arms and 
legs, hanging over the sides of the box; the white, ghastly faces, with glassy, staring eyes 
and dropped jaws, formed a horrible sight never to be forgotten. . . ." R. A. Dempsey, "An 
Account from the Ranks," 178. 

82 The North Carolina Historical Review 

write to the children [At the top of the next page] Amanda I 
left no room to sign my name to your letter Joseph I want you 
to be a good Boy at school and try to learn you have been a very 
good Boy and has halped mother all that you could I have sent 
you a pocket Book Because I love my Boy Joseph [illegible] 
Ellen I would rather kiss my Little pet than to write to you But 
I hope to come home some day and get Siss to roast me some 
potatoes and hunt some Eggs then we will be very happy 

Ellen I McRaven 
What can I say to prety Mary my sweet Child you will kiss 
mother for me then the Baby and Joe and Siss then when Father 
comes home I will kiss my little Mary 

Mary McRaven 
Your pa D McRaven 

Jan 19th 1865 
My Dear husband I received a short letter from you by Lee 
Brown I was glad to hear you [Torn away] I am very proud of 
the needle you sent me I would rather have it than the knife and 
scissors you sent me but I rather you would send you self than 
any thing I can think of if a few more of the men gets home from 
there I will begin to think you dont want to come home you ought 
to come home to see our little babe how pretty it is we are all 
well to day Jo is at school I think he learns better than he did 
when he went to school before I started Sis to school this week 
but [torn away] graduated in two dayes but I am going to make 
her go on I think she will learn very well I sent to Charlotte and 
got her a book I got John to go up and give in our returns yes- 
terday we have 24 bushels of tithe corn and five bushels of press 
corn to send to College they made a reserve of sixty bushels of 
corn to fatten hogs I sent our cotton to Mr. A. Alexanders Mon- 
day and got picked I got it back home tuesday Jeff is making 
that fence between you and John to day he is moste done it John 
promised to help him but he never done it [torn away] sides of 
the fence to clean off Isabella and myself put your pants in the 
loom to day Isabella is weaving them you shant have your pants 
until you come home after them Isabela took two webs in to day 
to weave one for Mrs Caldwell McRaven I want you to get me a 
pound of salts if you can I cant get any in Charlotte I dont know 
when John is going to see you he is still talking about going 
[word torn away] has been sick he is better now [he] has got so 
he can be up you must oblige William Little when you can Sis 
sayes he thinks there is no body like you Mollie sayes tell pa to 
tell her howdy Bellah send howdy to you Sis and Jo sends howdy 
to you I put ten dollars in this letter to pay for the salts if you 
can get them I have nothing new to write to you ought to see 
Jeff hideing wheat from the pressers he sayes the poor folks are 
all talking about our corn crib write soon your wife 

A, McRaven 

Correspondence of David and Amanda McRaven 83 

Jany 21st 18 [65] 
Amanda I have just read your Letter it Does me good to hear 
from you and I f eeal thankful that you and the children keep your 
health I am well I have been working hard this week makeing a 
guard house Mrs William Archer & Mrs Burwel Cashon came 
here Last Evening it is very Bad weather for women to be Out 
in Sutch a place as this the Sleet is Breaking the trees all 
around and Over us I have been Looking for some one to be 
killed all day but I have not heard of any one being mutch hurt 
yet 69 Amanda you must never come here it is a bad place for a 
woman Mrs Cashon is sick to Day with the headache it puts me 
in mind of your spells I wish you would try if Ester Smith would 
take pay or part pay for Alseys hire I am afraid the money will 
not be mutch account again next Christmas I went up into Town 
and got you them salts I got 3/4 of a lb for 10 Dollars there is a 
rumor afloat now that these Yankies will be sent on for to be 
Exchanged if it is so perhaps I may get home a while If not I am 
afraid it will be a good while before my turn will come no one 
that has been home can get a furlough untill the Company all 
gets home once there can only 3 go at a time from our Company 
and there is about 16 to go before my turn will come you must 
not think that I do not want to go home and see you I only want 
to go too Bad, I will send you Salts and these few lines by Mrs 
Archer she may have a chance to send it to you or Over to James 
Blacks and Wash will take them to you you have never said how 
wash has Done since I Came away, tell him howdy for me any 
way, my finger has not got well yet the End has not a right 
feeling I wore a leather Stall on it it hurts me more writing than 
any thing I try to do the pen presses right on the sore 

Yours Truly D McRaven 

Sunday Jany 22d 1865 
Amanda I sent you some things and a few Lines By Mrs Archer 
yesterday But I find you will not get them untill you send for 
them I got your Salts about 3/4 of a lb for 10 Dollars I would 
have got a pound while I was at it but I had spent all my money 
but one Dollar I sent your Bottle and an Iran Bolt for the front 
Door you can get a Small steeple made and get John Beard to 
fix it on I only get 3 screws with it you can find one in the Dest 
I think When you send Jeff after your Salts Look in my Trunk 
and get them two papers of powder one is Burwells the other is 
Wilsons and send with Jeff tell him what they are, so that he may 
not get them weet or go near the fire with them and get Blown 
up he Can go past James Blacks it is two miles from there they 
can tell him the Road you need not send me any money we will 
Draw some in a few Days I think Mrs Archer and Mrs Cashan 

69 On January 24 the local newspaper stated that "This section of the country was last 
week visited by the heaviest sleet which has fallen within the memory of our oldest man. A 
great deal of timber has been broken down by it." Fayetteville Observer, Jan. 30, 1865, an 
excerpt from The Carolina Watchman, Jan. 24, 1865. 

84 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Left here this morning they have had a rough trip I Do not 
[want] you Ever to attempt to come here I want to see you as 
bad as it is possible for any one But not here, not here I dont 
recollect any thing more I wish to tell you Except to tell Jeff to 
plow whenever the ground is in fix But be sure and not plow 
when the ground is too weet he can Cleanup and sprout or make 
Rails and Cut wood when not plowing tell him to Scatter that 
Stuff that we hauled on the ground before he plowed it I am well 
and resting to Day for the first [time in] a long time, tell Gilly 
and Jeff howdy, and tell Isabella that I would like to see her tell 
Sister Eveline that I would Write her a Letter But I am pushed 
to get time to write to my Wife and many times I have to stand 
on my feet while I Scribble a few lines to you that and my sore 
fing[er] accounts for so many Bad Letters you must kiss little 
Molly and tell her to kiss the little Baby for her pay, tell Joseph 
and Siss their pa will not forget them Bell [Isabella] you must 
get married to Alfred and maybe I can get home to the wedding 70 

D McRaven 

Jan 26th 1865 
My Dear husband I received [a] letter from you last night 
that was wrote Sunday [Iwas glad to hearj you were well and 
not frozed up down there this cold bad weather I think of you 
often them bad dayes and nights I have not got them things from 
Mrs Archers yet Jeff is gone after them now we are all well this 
morning we commenced Monday morning to shuck and shell our 
tithe and press corn I sent Jeff up to College monday evening to 
get sacks to put it in he got sacks and we put it up Tuesday I 
stayed at the barn tuesday evening meashuring up corn and sew- 
ing up sacks untill I was moste frozed all the children with me I 
cant go no where for them Jeff took one load up yesterday and he 
will take the ballance up to morrow I have to go up to the College 
next Tuesday or Wednesday to get pay for the press corn they 
give the selling price the law is to take the corn to the College 
and then to Charlotte but Mr Hunter said he would try and slip 
us out of haveing to hall it to Charlotte if he could I sent Jeff 
to the tanyard to see if our leather was taned and to know what 
that side would cost it will not be out untill March and he thought 
it would cost one hundred and fifty dollars I am going to take it 
if you are willing I would rather have it than so much of that no 
account money I have Jeff has just got back from Archers with 
the things you sent by her he got all that you wrote about send- 
ing I got all you sent by Mr Hunter and all you sent by Lee 
Brown but my pokes you sent Jeff give Jo one of them old five 
dollar bills to put in his pocket Book he is very proud of it I like 
to read the letter you sent by Mrs Archer you talk about comeing 
home in it I like to attend to the things out of doors and farming 
buizness if it was not for so many little children following after 

Incidentally, Isabella Nantz married Solomon Sifford. 

Correspondence of David and Amanda McRaven 85 

me they bother me very much you wanted to know how wash done 
he has done very well since you left if he has done any thing 
rong I dont know it they have all done very well as far as I know 
Jeff keeps buizy and I think he does the best he knows but you 
know things are not carried on as well as if you were about I 
dont know very much about farming to give directions I am 
pleased with Alsy so far she dont stand back from work no where 
she spins every night untill nine or ten oclock for her self Jeff 
and Alsy is cutting fire wood this evening I had James Williams 
part of two dayes last week he is [with] Jim yet he is gone to 
Petersburg now he said he would write to you and me and if we 
did not answer his letters he would he would quit Jo is going to 
school every day I think he is learning very well for the time 
he has been going he told me to tell you howdy and tell you he 
could spell Baker Sis never went but two dayes the weather is to 
bad to send her and she dont want to go Mollie is fat as she can 
be when you tell her to kiss any one for you she payes it up with 
intrust it does her a great deal of good for you to write any thing 
to her I think our little babe is very smart you would think it was 
four or five months old if you would see it Minty sayes [torn 
away] you there's good deal of dady in it has pale blue eyes Isa- 
bella sayes she will marry Alfred if that will bring you home but 
if she has to marry Alf she sayes she will take your new pants for 
him let me know when you want your pants and vest I have them 
wove I have been trying every where to get wool and fur to make 
you and Jo a hat apeace and I cant get any there is report up 

here that was shot last week for deserting and for 

a spie I have not heard whether it is so or not I have a dram 
saveing for you yet I am looking for them two waggons a long 
this week I will get some more if they have it Gilly and Alsy send 
howdy to you and to tell you to come home they want to have a 
quilting I do want to see my old man so bad write soon I want to 
see your sore finger it must hurt this cold weather when it gets 
cold your wife 

A. McRaven 

[Written across the top of this letter and upside down is this — ] 

I was sorry I did not send more money to get the salts I thought 
that would get a pound I send one dollar get me some more 

Sunday Jany 29th 1865 
Amanda I have just Read a good Long letter from you It has 
Done me mutch good for I though it a long time since I heard 
from you I am well and am still on Detail working at a Cabbin 
for Col. Stowe I have worked hard last week but get [to] sleep 
at nights this has been a very cold week and I have never ben to 
say cold since I came here untill last Tuesday since then I have 
Suffered being mostly stuck on the top of a Cabbin or Building 
a Chimbly Julia was here the day before yesterday she Came here 

86 The North Carolina Historical Review 

to see Elbert he is in the quartermasters Employ, I took her round 
the Garrison she had Junius and siss with her it was so very 
Cold that she had not Satisfaction I was Down at the Depot yes- 
terday morning to see her start home I thought the children 
would have froze Julia wants to see you [she] says she cannot 
Even hear from you She is well and she saye that Martha is 
well and she cannot tell when any of them Can go to see you I 
want to go home to see you and my little Baby but I cannot tell 
when I can get of there is rumors that these yankees will be sent 
for Exchange shortly But I have been Deceived so often that I 
am slow to believe any thing that I hear I intend to try to get a 
leave of absence from Col Stowe as soon as I get Done Building 
Cabbins I think he will try to get me off for a few Days it will 
be a week or more before I get Done what I have on hand and 
there may be some more to build that they have not told me of, 
you need not send my Cloths yet I Can Do a while longer with- 
out them and it will be an Excuse for me to go home to get them 
My new pants are getting very thin but there is no hole in them 
yet if it keeps on being Cold I will have to put the others on over 
them they will then keep me warm but it will be a fine time for 
the lice I have to make a killing match Every now and them as 
it is I got my shirts and Drawers washed as often as I can I 
have to pay 75cts a garment for washing I would like to see John 
Beard if he can leave home to come and see him but tell him not 
to come while the weather is so cold it would be a Bad trip now 
if he should Come any time when the weather gets better tell 
him to tramp some good Clean Straw in his waggan Bed we need 
something to make our Bed with Straw is scarce round here and 
it soon wers out and get lise in it and we have to throw it Out and 
Steal more 71 My Mess has most of them got supplies from home 
pieces of pork and so on if you Should send any thing just send 
a piece of side or a shoulder raw But I can live on the rations I 
get Let Joseph come with John if it is not Bad weather I would 
like to see my Boy if I thought he would be safe and he would 
have many things to tell you when he would get Back, Amanda I 
want you to be Shure and Secure Both sides of that Leather at 
the tanyard no matter about the price if it should Cos 200 Dollars 
or more it will be needed I want it all it is Better than money, If 
the weather is Bad next Friday you had Better try and get John 
C Cloer [name not too legible] to go and get your pay for the 
corn this weather is too Bad for you and the Baby to be out I 
want you to take good care and not Expose yourself you are more 
to me than all that [I] possess on Earth and the Children need a 
Mothers care that no one is capable of Bestowing on them like 
you, I like for you to be Out and see when the weather is suitable 
but in Cold bad weather stay in the house till I come and find my 

71 Much official complaint was made of a scarcity of straw for use in the hospitals. No 
official excuse was given; in fact, the inspector felt that ". . . there is no excuse. . . ." He 
thought that ". . . straw could have been obtained in abundance at any time. . . ." Official 
Records, ser. 2, VIII, 248. This statement on the part of McRaven indicates that there was a 
real scarcity of straw in the vicinity of Salisbury at this time. 

Correspondence of David and Amanda McRaven 87 

wife Safe and in good helth tell Bella to be a good girle and she 
shant have Old Alf peaples tell Gilly and Jeff and Alsy howdy 
and if Mingo 72 knowed I would say howdy to him 

D McRaven 
[Written across the top of this letter.] I Drawed about 90 Dollars 
pay I am spending it freely 

Friday Feb 3d 1865 
Amanda I received a few lines written by you on Last Sunday It 
Done me good to know that you were thinking of me and writing 
to me about the same time that I was engaged writing to you for 
I wrote you on Sunday Evening I am well I had a prety severe 
attack of that Cold for two or three Days but not bad enough 
to Stop me from work I finished Building Cabbins the Day before 
yesterday and went on guard yesterday I have just got off it is 
snown a little I hate to see it I have had Enough Cold weather 
to satisfy me But I stand the cold Better than any one that I 
see, I have the advantage of hard raising it has learned me to 
suffer without complaint Some of Our men are very Easy to give 
up there still are some of them runing away I hate to see it, and 
it makes Our Duties more hard and [prevents] us from getting 
furloughs I want to see you worse than any of [them] that run 
off but I could not [look] you in the face if I was to Desert and 
be Brought Back and guarded night and Day like a Criminal we 
have about thirty of our Regiment in the guard house and more 
to put in I have not [tried] for a Chance to go home yet as it 
would not be worth while yet I intend to try Before long Robt 
Hunter Come Back to Day he was sent to Charlotte on some 
Business and got home one Day he told me you were well he told 
me that President Davis told Wm Johnson Last week that our 
Regiment would be sent home in time to Rais a Crop this sum- 
mer I hope it is so for I want to get Close Beside you and sit and 
talk about one week I think a great Deal about you and the 
Children Bless my Sweet Babies this is a rough world they are 
just Entering into May Heaven Shiled them from the Stormy 
life that has been my Lot But I am grumbling without Cause you 
and [me] are Blessed with health and have Enough to live upon 
and I have good health here, I am being unthankful Moses Alex- 
ander keeps shaking the Bench nodding so that I can hardly 
write kiss all my Children and tell Eveline Beard [ ?] I would like 
to see her and her mother and all 

D McRaven 

Feb 5th 1865 
Amanda My Dear wife I got your letter yesterday I was glad I 
am allways glad to hear from you if it could be so I would wish to 
hear from you twice a Day I am well the cold is hurting me a 

72 Perhaps this is a dog, though no one can remember whether this is true or not. 

88 The North Carolina Historical Review 

little but I can Eat like a wolf and stand guard when my turn 
comes Amanda I do not think it would be prudent to let Jo come 
here at this time for we had one case of mumps here last week I 
do not wish any Disease to be taken in the family that we can 
avoid I hope we will no more of us take them I will let you know 
if we do Dixon Ewart wished to get supplies from home and says 
that Elem Henderson will come if you wish to send Jeff he can 
take Dixans waggan mine is not safe to make the trip you can 
send him if you like but I am not suffering, I do not think I can 
get home there is 12 men to go before I can go the men running 
away makes it hard on us Amanda I Bought you a newyears gift 
Last week I gave 40 dollars for a gold ring for you it is about the 
weight of the one you lost I got a Yankey Cap for Jo yesterday 
I wish he had it it is a cloth Cap and will do him in the winter I 
wish you had your Ring but I will not trust it in a letter you must 
not throw it away because I Bought it from a Yankey and you 
must not Scold me for Spending my money an onion goes here 
for a Dollar a tart with one good mouthful of peaches in it is 2 
Dollars apples 4 dollars p Doz tell Albert I Like home the best 
tell Jo when he gets his Cap he must not tare it kiss pretty Molly 
for me and tell her the old Yankys Climb over the fence when the 
gate is shut 73 - Do not let Jeff come in Bad freezing weather it is 
so hard on the horses feet 

D McRaven 

Feb 7th 1865 
Tuesday night 
My Dear husband I have nothing particular to write to you only 
to tell we are all well and I sewed hard all day yesterday to get 
your pants done for you to put on last night when you come home 
but when I got your letter last night it killed all my joy the chil- 
dren were as badly disappointed as I were when I get a letter 
from you they all three get as close to me as they can I cant read 
your letter for them asking what pa said about me and what 
did pa say about me that is all I can hear untill I tell them some- 
thing we have plenty of snow and sleat to day and I have my 
troubles to keep the children out of it and from eating it I have 
been poutting all day about you not getting home Hunter has 
been home three times since you were I cant see whey they make 
the difference Wm Beard came home yesterday morning he is 
well he come to get boxes for his company he told me to tell you 
he would be in Salisbury next Tuesday night going back he said 
he might go Monday night but he thought he would not go untill 
Tuesday night Marcus Dellinger come home Sunday evening in 
18 dayes furlough it is reported over the river that Brotherton 

73 This mode of escape should not have succeeded very often and it is just possible that 
McRaven is referring to the escape of four prisoners by this means on the night of January 
24. This prisoner later wrote that "On the 24th of January I, with several others, after 
several attempts to get out of Salisbury Prison . . . made our escape by climbing over the 
stockade." Booth, Dark Days of the Rebellion, 357. These prisoners reached their lines Feb- 
ruary 27, 1865. 

Correspondence of David and Amanda McRaven 89 

is dead I am very sorry to hear it if it is so for I think as much of 
him as are [any] Brotherinlaw I had I think Julia would have 
told you if it had been so I have not saw any one from over [the] 
river since Christmas only Isabella she is still staying with me 
she is weaving for Mrs Caldwell when the weather is fit Beal has 
been bad sick I heard him and Ellen Blythe was going to get 
married I dont know whether it is so or not Jo Beards wife got 
so smart she was obliged to get married McRaven you must burn 
that last letter I wrote to you I was a little rathy that day I 
dont push my self on any one I dont know when John is going 
to see you I dont think he will go soon he come up last night and 
got your gun to go after Turkey I have not payed doctor Willson 
yet I have never saw him since I got well I will make Jeff take 
me down there while the ground is to wet to plow and pay him 
fan has got so full of her self I am afraid to drive her untill she 
is worked awhile Jeff has plowed to dayes that was last Saturday 
and yesterday he said the ground was in nice fix for plowing I 
I have very good health since I got up if I take care of my self I 
cant stand much exspossure I never got well until I turned to 
drinking I never drank all my liquor I have [a] bottle f ul saving 
for you but you must come home and get it I am going to make 
you a coarse woollen vest to morrow to keep you warm these cold 
bad dayes and nights our school is out next week I am sorry it is 
out so soon Joe is just getting in a good way to learn he likes his 
book better than he did before he went to school the children 
want to see you very bad Mollie tore sis letter you sent her she 
has cried a good many times about it since they are very proud 
of them McRaven you dont know how glad I would be if you were 
setting here by this good warm fire to night with me it is nine 
oclock they are all a sleep but Isabella and Jo he is setting here 
talking about you telling me things to write to you and Jeff is 
in the kitchen peging on old shoes he gets as much as he can do 
at nights him and Gilly and Alsy all send howdy to you and say 
they want to see you Jo and Isabella send howdy to you I would 
rather put my arm around your neck than any thing I can think 
of I am not going to set any more time for you to come home I 
dont like to be so bad disappointed you would love our little 
baby if you would see it it is so lively and bright Mollie sayes she 
will kiss all the sweet of it before you come home tell them you 
love best down there to kiss you for me write soon I will send 
to the office to morrow evening to get a letter from you your 

A. McRaven 

Feb 9th 1865 
My Dear husband I sent Jeff to Mr Ewarts and Mr Elem 
Henderson this evening to see if he would go with Jeff to Salis- 
bury he said he would go Mrs Ewart said she would have come 
up to see me if the weather had not been so bad about sending 

90 The North Carolina Historical Review 

you and [him some] thing I am going [to send something] I will 
let [Joe] go he [is standing on the] top of his head about going 
Mrs. Ewart is going to let her little boyes go if you have the 
mumps dont let them sleep with any one that has them or eat 
after anyone that has them and I dont think they will take them 
but if there is any one have them in your shanty next week and 
I hear it I will not let him go if it is good weather they will go 
some time next week Mrs Ewart is not ready she has some clothes 
to make you must write to me and let me know if I must send 
your pants and vest with them I will not write any more untill 
they come back I will send word by Wm Beard Tuesday night 
if we are all well Jeff got shoes put on fans fore feet and I will 
have some old shoes put on dock before he goes we are all well 
to night this is Thursday night tell Mr Ewart his folks were 
all well late this evening McRaven I dont know what I will do 
for you for that fine present when I get it I am very much oblige 
to you for it I do think the time [will never come] [torn away] to 
see you it is four mon[ths since you went to] Salisbury this 
b [ad weather makes me] uneasy about you you might catch your 
death out in so much bad weather we dont get any thing done 
only make fires and eat Sis has been hunting all evening for 
an union to send to you she has not get one yet I am going to 
send you some egges I will send you a dram if I can get it I have 
but one bottle full and I [am] going to save that until you come 
home I wrote to night to let you know I will send Jeff next week 
if the weather is fit I dont know whitch is the best pleased him 
or Jo about it you must write by Mondayes mail if you can this 
is not much of a letter it is late and I wrote in a hurry all [are] 
a sleep but Isabella and myself 

A. McRaven 

[Saturday] Feb 11th 1865 

Amanda I got a letter from you this morning I am always glad 
to hear from you. I think John Johnson will get a furlough to 
Day, I write this Expecting to send it By him as I want him to go 
over and see you and the Children when he gets home you Can 
make your own time about sending Jeff you may let Jo Come 
there is no Mumps here now I Cannot write mutch I am guard 
at the time and have to Be ready to go at a minutes warning 
Johnson can tell you how we are getting allong. I feeal very Sore 
to Day Cold I suppose but I am well you may send my pants & 
vest by Jeff and I will send the pants I have on Back they are 
wore out in the Seat, I will send your Ring and Jos Cap By 
Johnson You must not send any Brandy But keep it untill I get 
home I only take one Dram out of a Bottle full and give the rest 
to my mess mates I want to go and see you as soon as I can it 
will be 3 or four weeks Before I need try and then I am not 
sure of getting off I will not attempt to tell you any thing this 
time for the time is out for me to go to guard, tell Jeff if he 

Correspondence of David and Amanda McRaven 91 

starts here to be sure and not push the horses two fast and to 
take care of Jo. Tell Sis I will write her another Letter before 
Long tell Mollie howdy and when Jo starts he must mind Jeff 
and not get hurt- Tell Bell howdy, I will be at the Depot Tuesday 
night to meet Williams yours D. McRaven 

Feb 13th 1865 
My Dear Husband I will send you a few lines by William to 
let you know that Mr Johnson come up this morning to see me 
you dont know how glad I was to see him he gave me the ring you 
sent and Jo his cap I am very proud of my present and so is Jo 
I have not been well since last Friday I had the headach very 
bad Friday all day and at night my head got better and I got 
nervous and my heart a fluttering at spells I have felt bad ever 
since I still have fluttering at the heart yet by spells it makes 
me f eal very uneasy about myself when I was so bad off the other 
night I could not think about any thing but you and my children 
McRaven I send you a little snack by William to do you untill 
the waggan goes Mr Johnson wants the waggan to wait untill 
Saturday and for Elem not to go now so they can make two trips 
Elem and his boy and Mr Ewart two little boyes and Lee Brown 
sayes he is a going and Jo and Jeff if they all go they will have to 
put more horses to the waggan for I will not let our horses pull 
all them down there they will be there some time this week if the 
weather is fit and we all keep well I have not heard from Mrs 
Ewart what time she will be ready I got a letter from brother 
Jo Saturday he is well and he is still at Staunton Va he said he 
would come home this winter but he cant get to his companey to 
get a furlough he thinks [the] Yankees is going to whip us now 
he said the ladies gave them a big dinner the 7 of last month he 
said I ought to have been there to see him eating McRaven I put 
two apples in the box for you save my trash box and sent it back 
with Jeff you must come home and see our little baby moste 
every body sayes it is a right McRaven Jo and Sis and [Molly] 
are getting pretty rapped I dont whip them enough write soon 
as you can I am always glad to hear from you 

your wife A. McRaven 

Feb 15th 1865 
Dear Amanda I received a few lines from you last night I am 
allways glad to hear from you. I saw William I had but a few 
words with him. I was glad to see John I have not had mutch 
talk with him yet I was on guard last night and have not been 
off Long I am well I was a little Down since Johnson left But 
am all right again what you sent me was good you ought to have 
seen me Chawing Chicken Bones last night I came in at Eleven 
o clock Cold and hungry to rest untill 2 I sat by a warm fire and 
Eat Cakes and thought of you I hope I will get to see you before 

92 The North Carolina Historical Review 

long but I do not know when there is no Doubt but there will a 
general Exchange of prisoners Soon I hope I then will get to see 
you a while then I will not try to write mutch now John Can tell 
you all the news. You are right about so many Coming with the 
wagan I told Johnson I would like for him to Come with the 
waggan, Dixan Ewart is sick and in the hospital I do not think 
his little Boys ought to come I think Dixan will be sent home soon 
he is getting better I wish you to make sutch arrangements for 
Jeff to come as suits you but Do not let him come when the 
weather is Bad, no matter who wants to come with him, I am 
sorry to hear that you are not so well James Johnson sayes his 
wife has had something like palpitations of the Hart for a num- 
ber of years, when she feals it she just takes a little sup of 
Brandy by Directions of Dr. Rankin it relieves her there is a 
man in Our Company Jo Rass a fine man he has the same he all 
ways Carries a little Brandy about him I have saw him have his 
spells on guard he takes a small sup and it allways relieves him 
in a short time and he continues his walk on the scaffold you 
must not be uneasy about yourself good spirits my wife- I send 
some Buttons to Sis and Molly Divide them as well as you can 

[D. McRaven] 

Salisbury N.C. 
Feby 22nd 1865 
Mrs. Amanda McRaven, 
Dear Madam 

In accordance to promise to your Husband David A. 
McCraven I write you a few lines in very great haste, to inform 
you that Mr. McCraven left here to day with a wagen to assist in 
Carrying the prisoners, on the way to Greensboro, he at first 
was told he would not have to go but before they were quite 
ready they told him he must go, so he informed me that he had 
not time to write to you, So all the Prisoners, white and Black 
left here to day 74 all were able had to march on foot there was a 
string of Yankee prisoners & negroes about 2 1/2 or 3 miles 
long they were very cheerful and glad to leave and I think more 
of us are glad they are gone, Mr. McCraven told me to say to you 
that he was well and expected to return about next Wednesday, 
there were about Five hundred went with them Col. Hoke, Col. 
Stowe & Col. Copening I believe all went. So did Wm. Little 

74 On February 16, 1865, the commander of the Salisbury Prison received information that 
"A general exchange of prisoners has been agreed upon, and the entire exchange will be 
effected in as short a time as possible. The information can be given the prisoners." Official 
Records, ser. 2, VIII, 238. This news reached the prisoners on the twenty-first and, according 
to one prisoner, then ". . . the commotion began. Such shouting and singing! No tongue nor 
pen can describe the joy and happiness this welcome message brought to the prisoners." On 
February 22 "About half past 12 o'clock the men were formed into columns and marched out 
at the north gate protected on each side by a heavy guard of rebel soldiers." Booth, Dark 
Days of the Rebellion, 285. The prisoners marched to Greensboro and arrived there February 
25th. (Official Records, 2, VIII, 449-50.) and entered their own lines at Wilmington, North 
Carolina, March, 2, 1865, Booth, Dark Days of the Rebellion, 304-305. 

There were 5,149 prisoners liberated from Salisbury Prison at this time. Official Records, 
ser. 2, VIII, 449. 

Correspondence of David and Amanda McRaven 93 

Alfred Childers and many more of our neighbors it may be better 
for them to be in that direction than to stay here untill the fight 
is over below Charlotte or Chester General Hoke's Division are on 
their way to General Beauregard So we need not fear much here 
or even at Charlotte, Although it seems from appearances that 
times are very Squally I feel very much like if Old Sherman ever 
gets to Salisbury I would not wonder at his destroying every 
thing in the place 75 because of wickedness for I do think it a very 
wicked place indeed I see so much of it daily both men & women 
are very Corrupt indeed I mean generally speaking there are 
some very nice people here but they are but few in number I feel 
like I am almost ruined at home not having any one to work for 
me but I trust there is a better time coming, My folks were all 
well a few days ago, I would be glad to hear from you all at any 
time, I remain your true friend untill death 

E [lbert] L. Sherrill 

Sunday Feb 26- 1865 
Amanda I Embrace the first Opertunity to Drop you 
a few lines. I Landed at Greensborough yesterday evening I am 
Detailed to stay with the Cols waggan I have ben traveling very 
hard since tuesday at 11 o clock and have just now got time to 
sit down and write to you I was hurried of from Salisbury and 
I ask Elbert Sherrill to write for me and let you know which I 
suppose he had Done I am well and harty, I have had but little to 
Eat since I Left Salisbury the Col sent on a head for rashans for 
us and the prisoners but there was a train Broke Down on the 
track and we Could get none I started with two raw potatoes and 
never had time to roast but one this morning I scorched the last 
One a little and Eat it as I went Back to town without waggan 
I have just Come Back and Masy Alexander had us a good 
Breackfast of warm Corn Bread and ham he Brought a ham that 
Jeff fetched to Salisbury and I fetched one lump of Butter that 
you sent me, we left Salisbury with about five thousand yanks 
there was a great many of them gave Out it has been raining all 
the time all the water courses was up and the waggans had to 
Leave they army and ground a great ways to head the streams 
we Expect to start Back to Salisbury in a Day or two the prison- 
ers are Being sen of on the Rail Road from here as fast as pos- 
sible I Do not know wheather I will get to go home when I get 

75 The expressed fear of Sherrill did not take place if we believe the account of the de- 
struction of the depot and prison on April 12, 1865, by General George Stoneman as related 
by two natives of Salisbury. One resident said: "Salisbury was not unduly incensed against 
General Stoneman. He obeyed his orders and destroyed the stores, but also gave guards to all 
who asked for them. He restrained looting, and little unnecessary havoc was made in the 
dwellings of town. Although he was a sick man while he stayed in Salisbury, he found means 
to prevent such burning and destruction as took place so wantonly in Columbia, South Caro- 
lina, and with impunity in many other less important places." H. S. Chamberlain, This Was 
Home (Chapel Hill, 1938), 120. 

Another account said of Stoneman: "With all the pillaging, plundering and burning that 
the raiders had done, Salisbury, comparing her lot with that of Columbia and Fayetteville, 
may well afford to hold Stoneman's name in grateful remembrance." Grace Beal Ramsey, 
Salisbury Post, September 23, 1932. 

94 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Back or not I will have to stay with the wagans untill we get 
Back the rest of the Regiment I supose will go Back on the train 
I want to see you very Badly Amanda Our Country is Being 
Over run by the Enemy and I fear Our Caus is lost but I want 
you to keep up hart and not Dispond and if any Yankies Should 
come past and take any thing from [you or us] Do not be Scared 
but let them take what they want, for if I am Spared to get back 
to you I am able to make Bread for you and the Children yet 
there is some talk that our Regiment will get home a while when 
we go back I hope it is so for we need rest, I want to hear from 
you Badly you Can write as soon as you get this and Direct to 
Salisbury as I Expect to be there in a few Days tell Jeff he 
Ought to haul out the Stable manure and put it in the Cotton 
Drills before the ground gets hard he had Better put Cotton 
where it was Last year tell him if he has any rough manure he 
can haul it on the corn ground and before he Breaks it up tell 
him to try and put his corn in a good fix tell all the Children 
howdy for me and kiss my Dear little Baby, Oh but I want to see 
it and you and all, tell Gilly and Alsy and Wash and Jeff howdy 
Remember me to Johns folks and feed Mingo well 

Your husband D McRaven 

Salisbury March 3rd 1865 
Amanda I am once more in Salisbury I got to William Lytles 
yesterday Evening about two hours by sun and found they had 
all gone Saturday morning but myself and Masy Alexander We 
pushed on to Charlotte Last night and got our Transportation 
ready then went Out beyond town and made us a little fire and 
stayed untill this morning and took the 7 o clock train Our Com- 
pany was glad to see us that is all that we had seen the Most of 
the men are out on Picket there is a rumor that there is some 
yankies Up Beyond Salem I Cannot hear which way they are 
going there is a good many soldiers here Some Say ten thousand 
I have not Looked about me any and Cannot tell, I do not know 
what kind of Duty we will be put at some of Our men have gon to 
Greensborough with prisoners the rest are all about two miles at 
a Bridge Doing Picket Duty, I am well and am Baking a Big 
Cake of Corn Bread while I am writing I am Baking it pretty 
well, the home guard are all here I spoke to Wm Bell and Jo 
Wilson Joh Jettan is here, there was one por fellow Jumped of 
the Cars this morning at I think Greensborough the Cars Crush- 
ed his foot into a jelly, tell Jeff to plant Corn as fast as he can 
and be Carefull and plant it right so that it will Come up, kiss 
my Baby, D McRaven 

March 4th 1865 
Amanda I have a Chance of Sending you a few lines by William 
Beard he has come after Dixon Ewart, I have got Back safe we 
had s Disagreeable trip it rained all the time we were Out we 

Correspondence of David and Amanda McRaven 95 

were gone ten Dayes I was wet most of the time but I am well 
and harty I have an old quick tooth that hurts me Badly at times 
but not long at a time Except that I am as well as ever I was. I 
was in hopes that I would get home as soon as we got back I see 
no sign of it yet this place looks lonely since the yankies have 
gone there is a report that we will be turned over to act as home 
guard now we have nothing to do here and I Do not Expect to 
stay here long I Do wish that I could go and Se you and the 
Children for a while I want to hear from you since I came back 
and would have been uneasy but I was told that there was no 
mail come from Charlotte for some Days, William Beard told 
me that you were all well a Day or too back he had seen Jeff 
Beard told me that he was at Elem Hendersons to Buy a Sheep I 
[have] nothing to write of news kind I was in the garrison 
among the old Yankey tents a while ago and found it a stinking 
place and old shoes and rags Enough to Breed a pestilence, I 
still hope to get to see you before Long, Amanda keep good hart 
and nurs my Baby and be cheerful tell Jo howdy he is a good Boy 
tell sis and Molly I will come and see them as soon as I can kis 
the Children all for me and tell the negroes howdy 

your husband D. McRaven 

March 5th 1865 
Sunday evening 
My Dear husband I received a letter from you friday night 
that was wrote last Sunday I was so glad to hear from you the 
letter Elbert wrote was a week on the way before I got it I never 
put over a more uneasy a time in my life than I have done for the 
last two weeks I could not find out where you were gone and I 
was looking for the Yankees along to take every thing we had 
and burn our home up I have not been well for five or six weeks 
I have had a spell with my head every week for that time the 
rest of the family is all well to day our little baby is as pretty 
as it can be and knows its name when ever any call it the rest 
of the children look well and are getting pretty sapped I have 
nothing new to write to you only what you hear every day war 
news I suppose you heard Daniel McAuley is dead you Scarsly 
see any one about here in any trouble about the Yankees coming 
a long and destroying every thing when I see the right sort of 
folks I see them in trouble Old Mr Farr call to see me yesterday 
he ask very particular for you he thinks the worst is over about 
here but I dont think so McRaven I was sorry about you going 
away and not haveing any money I had wrote a letter and put some 
money in it and was starting Liz to the office when Elem came 
and told me you said for me not to write untill I heard from you 
if you get this letter write soon and I will send you some I cant 
spend my money at home for any thing I bought a sheep and 
lamb from Elem Henderson I gave him two bushels of corn and 
twenty dollars in money for it he ask me three bushels of corn 

96 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Isabella is staying with me yet your sister Eveline was up here 
last night all night Camilla sent her respects to you and thanks 
you for remembering them and tell you they are all well she is 
very uneasy about William she has not heard from him since he 
left McRaven I do want to see you so bad I have looked for you 
so often and been disappointed I have moste got out of heart I 
think you must let them impose up on you do your part and the 
rest to you must let me know if you want [or] need some socks 
soon or what sort of clothing you will want first so I can have 
it ready I have not had any heart to work for last two or three 
weeks we have planted our Irish potatoes eight or ten dayes ago 
it is so wet Jeff cant get any plowing done he has been cuting 
fire wood when its not raining and Alsy is spinning McRaven 
my head has commenced acheing so I cant write you much of a 
letter this evening I fear I will have a bad time of it to night 
vomiting and when I commence vomiting my heart commences 
jumping it makes me feal very bad Gilly and Alsy and Jeff Wash 
all send howdy to you write soon and come home soon as you can 
for I would rather see you than any thing in this wourld I hope I 
will be well the next letter I write to you if I known you would 
get this letter I would put some money in it for you your wife 

A. McRaven 

March 15th 1865 
Amanda I Landed Safe in Charlotte yesterday about 12 o clock 
I expect we will stay here a while as there was some of our men 
put on guard last night it has rained a good deal as usuall when 
we Start out I have nothing to write only I thought you would 
wish to hear from me soon I Expect to go on Duty in a few 
minutes and Can only add that I made a little to free with 
Squirrel and turkey yesterday and in Consequince I have the 
Dirahea Slightly- Kiss my Children and let me hear from you 
soon Direct to Charlotte in place of Salisbury 

Your husband D McRaven 

Salisbury March 25th 1865 
[Only part of this letter is legible] 

Amanda I have waited untill this time Expecting to know when 
we will be sent but I did not find out we are not to go to States- 
ville we [are] here [for a while] Doing a little light Duty guard- 
ing Stragglers prisoners and waiting for our Regiment to collect 
there — are Se[veral of our] Company [here yet] I am well and 
harty I [hope] to Leav af [ter a while] L [ooks like you] are 
Appearing to be Down Spirited- [keep] good spirit Amanda 
Dispendency will do you [much] harm and can [accomplish 
nothing but add] to the Evill that is [upon us,] Listen to the 
Children in their fun and play their cares are Momentary and 
soon over do like them as Mutch as possible and hope for a better 

Correspondence of David and Amanda McRaven 97 

time to come, I got a good wetting yesterday I had a wood wag- 
gan in charge and had haul across a large Creek one old mule fell 
down and began to Drown my self and Hugh Blakely got of the 
waggan in the Creek and held his head out of the watter untill 
the negro Driver got round we then [line illegible] him to the 
Bank he could not then get up but lay half and hour then got up 
and ran of from us mule like, Blakely and myself are Both well 
this morning Once more be Cheerful my wife 

D McRaven 

April 6th 1865 
Thursday evening 
My Dear husband I was so sorry when I read your letter last 
night and found you were back in Salisbury again I am afraid 
I will not see you soon I wish you had taken a better pare of 
pants with you I fear you will need them before you can get them 
we are all tolerable well the babe has not been well for two dayes 
she appears to be better to day I think it was cold she had high 
fever Tuesday night and last night I was up to see old Miss Ester 
Monday evening she said she did not know that she was any 
better she could set up in the bed Jeff told me to tell you he was 
done planting at home all but the cotton Isabella and myself and 
Gilly have been in the field all week I gave out Tuesday evening 
and was sick we planted our molasses cane yesterday after din- 
ner Isabella and Gilly dropped all the corn and I lost the house 
key in the field yesterday morning I thought I was fixed then 
but I found it after takeing a good rake Jeff commenced plow- 
ing the other side of Johns this morning Robert Beard found 
our black cows calf this morning it was living it is moste starved 
I sent Gilly and Jo and hugh after it they carried it home the 
cow owned it I poured some milk in it I think it can suck to night 
Isabella is gone to Brevard Davidson she went of walking this 
morning she will be back to morrow evening John Johnson two 
girls were down at John Beards yesterday all day they called 
here a while in the evening as they were going home they are well 
his son got potatoes here monday I heard yesterday the Yankees 
had Richmond and Petersburg both I dont know whether it is so 
or not I am uneasy to hear the right way John folks got a letter 
from William yesterday he was well and standing in line of 
battle when he wrote the 30 of March Gilly told me to tell you 
howdy and she droped peas yesterday sis send howdy to you 
write soon I cant hear to often your wife 

N.A. McRaven 

Sunday Aprile 9th 1865 
Amanda I Read your leter yesterday I am glad to hear that 
you are getting along so well I hope that our pretty little Baby 
will not be mutch sick I am in good health and am not here 

98 The North Carolina Historical Review 

pushed the weather is good and if it was not for being away from 
my wife and Children I could do the Yankies have possession of 
Richmond & Petersburg Our men Evacuated the place I Believe 
But the yankies faught them as they come away, There is a 
report that there has been a fight Between Lee and Grant Last 
week & that Lee Drove them Back, we hear all kinds of rumors 
here but Cannot Vouch for the tenth of any thing I have not 
any thing particular to write I saw Sherrill since I come Back he 
Says that Jo Nantz was here at Salisbury while I was at home he 
is well and Looks well he come here with a small train of wag- 
gans and Did not Stay long Sherrill gave Jo 50 dollars in mony, 
Jo wanted to get past home very Bad But Could not I Only saw 
Sherrill a few minutes as I was on my way out to Picket and 
intended to see Sherrill again But I have not met him since Tell 
Jo he is a good Boy and that he must help Mother all that he can 
tell sis she is my Pet and mus not [hurt] the Baby when she 
kissess it tell Molly howdy and kiss her for me tell all the negroes 
howdy and I like to hear they are getting on so well 76 . . . . 

D McRaven 

76 This was the day on which General Lee surrendered to General Grant at Appomattox 
Courthouse in Virginia. The only time that the troops under Colonel Hoke may have faced 
the enemy ". . . was when Stoneman made his raid to Salisbury to release the prisoners at 
that point." Clark, North Carolina Regiments, IV, 67. This raid was made April 12, 1865, 
and, in the words of General Stoneman, when the Confederate lines had been taken, which 
included 14 pieces of artillery and 1,364 prisoners captured, ". . . the remainder of the force 
was chased through and several miles beyond town, but scattered and escaped into woods." 
Official Records, ser. 1, XLIX, part 1, 324. Perhaps McRaven was among those who escaped 
or he could have been among the few men of the regiment who were paroled when General 
Johnston surrendered on April 26, 1865, to General Sherman near the present city of Dur- 
ham, North Carolina. 

General Stoneman stated that "We remained at Salisbury two days, during which time we 
destroyed fifteen miles of railroad track and the bridges toward Charlotte . . . Four large 
cotton factories and 7,000 bales of cotton, four large magazines containing 10,000 stand of 
small arms and accouterments, 1,000,000 rounds small arm ammunition, 10,000 rounds fixed 
artillery ammunition, and 70,000 pounds of powder, 35,000 bushels of corn, 50,000 bushels of 
wheat, 160,000 pounds of bacon, 100,000 suits gray uniform clothing, 250,000 army blankets, 
20,000 pounds harness leather, 10,000 pounds of saltpeter, also a very large amount of sugar, 
salt, rice, and other stores and medical supplies valued by the rebel medical director at 
$100,000 in gold; in addition to the arsenal at Salisbury, the military prison was being fitted 
up and was filled with machinery sent from Raleigh and Richmond, all of which was 
destroyed." Official Records, ser. 1, XLIX, part 1, 324. 


A Plea for Federal Union, North Carolina, 1788. Introduction by Hugh T. 
Lefler. (Charlottesville: Tracy W. McGregor Library, University of Vir- 
ginia. 1948. Pp. 79.) 

The extreme individualism which was the chief feature of 
North Carolina during and following the Revolution was best ex- 
emplified by the intense feeling and interest caused by the contest 
over ratification of the federal Constitution. A Plea for Federal 
Union, North Carolina, 1 788, is a reprint of two partisan federal- 
ist pamphlets which were written in August, 1788. Professor 
Hugh T. Lefler traces the various stages of the contest for rati- 
fication in his introduction. 

The first pamphlet is a well written essay entitled To the 
People of the State of North Carolina and signed by "A Citizen 
of North Carolina." The author recalls the defects of the old 
Articles of Confederation, protests the action of the Hillsboro 
convention in rejecting the Constitution, reminds the citizens of 
his state that they are "now not only independent of all other na- 
tions of the world, but entirely independent of the other states," 
points to the dangers of disunion, and enumerates the advan- 
tages of the amendment process of the new form of government. 
The style and the nature of the argument point to James Iredell, 
ablest and most active of the federalists, as the author. 

The second reprint, actually a collection of seven essays, is a 
scathing attack on anti-federalism entitled To the People of the 
District of Edenton and signed "A Citizen and A Soldier." The 
author, who describes himself as a "man of obscurity" and of "in- 
elegant language," remains unknown. This pamphlet is little 
more than a direct and personal attack on anti-federalists in gen- 
eral and Thomas Person, James Tate, and Willie Jones in partic- 
ular. The author devotes the most space to Jones, whom he de- 
scribes as "base, infamous, and unprincipled" — "the second 

This booklet is one of a series of publications designed to make 
better known to students of history the source materials found in 
the Tracy W. McGregor Library and has a great value as such. 


100 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Students and instructors of history should welcome and encourage 
such publications. 

William C. Pool. 

Southwest Texas State College, 
San Marcos, Texas 

History of Missionary Methodism, 1913-1948. By Rev. Dan S. Hardin, 
Pastor, Forest City Missionary Methodist Church. (Forest City, N. C; 
The Forest City Courier, 1948. Pp. 40. Illustrated.) 

This book, though of only forty pages, is probably the most 
complete church history of any church or denomination ever 
written. This is partly due to the fact that the Missionary Metho- 
dist Church was not organized until July 28, 1913. On that day it 
was formed from members of the Wesleyan Methodist Church at 
Forest City, N. C, who had left that church because they no 
longer accepted the doctrines and regulations of the church that 
forbade its members to use tobacco, wear jewelry, or join secret 
societies, prescribed that they should tithe, and ordained women 
as preachers. 

Here the history written by Rev. Dan S. Hardin begins. Even 
though that history covers only the years since 1913, the author 
found much difficulty in finding material for its history, especial- 
ly for the first ten years, but gained much from the Forest City 
Courier whose editor, Mr. Clarence W. Griffin, put the files of his 
paper at his disposal, as did the editor of The Rutherford County 
News, Mr. R. E. Price. Using these and other helps Mr. Hardin has 
written a full and interesting history of the church, following 
its remarkable expansion through many villages and towns and 
telling of its ministers, churches, and quarterly and annual con- 
ferences with much clearness. The reader sees a new denomination 
rise before his eyes, people the cities and towns between Charlotte 
and Forest City, and build a score of churches in them. The author 
has no formal statement of their creed, except that in most re- 
spects they are like the Wesleyan Methodists. They gain new 
members, not by accessions from other churches, but by revivals. 
Going to a new town they make twenty to thirty converts, baptize 
them in a swimming pool or creek, organize them into a church, 
put them to work building a meeting house with a number of 

Book Reviews 101 

Sunday school rooms, and ordain for them a minister. They are 
enthusiasts. Their first frame building at Forest City "proved 
insufficient for the shouting, demonstrating audiences, for during 
one of the services the floor of the building collapsed, which 
necessitated a removal to other quarters. ,, 

But they are a sober people withal. The text and the many 
illustrations in this book show the kind of people they are : good, 
honest North Carolina stock, independent, self-respecting, well 
dressed, and neat ; one illustration shows a mixed quartet stand- 
ing around a grand piano. And they are young with strong, happy 
faces — not the sour-faced, decrepit saints so often pictured in 
church histories. In short, they are those vigorous native North 
Carolinians, with North Carolina names, who have made the 
region they inhabit a great industrial center. Their churches help 
them to live moral lives and are old-fashioned enough to have a 
regulation against divorce. Writing the preface, Mr. Clarence W. 
Griffin, a member of the Executive Board of the North Carolina 
Department of Archives and History says : "Hundreds of mem- 
bers of this sect have made religion a real, vitalizing factor in 
their daily lives and in their communities." 

George W. Paschal. 

Wake Forest, N. C. 

Rountree Chronicles, 1827-1840. Documentary Primer of a Tar Heel Faith. 
By Charles Crossfield Ware. (Wilson, N. C: The North Carolina Chris- 
tian Missionary Convention, 1947. Pp. 64. Illustrations. Plates.) 

This little book is by the author of A History of Disciples of 
Christ in North Carolina, and of Barton Warren Stone, Pathfinder 
of Christian Union, and has the qualities of those publications — 
the same clear, unpretentious style, accuracy of statement, and 
good classification of matter, all topically arranged in chapters 
and divsions. The main purpose of the author is to tell the story 
of Rountree Church situated four miles west of the present town 
of Ayden, and to establish the fact that it is "definitely the 
mother church of North Carolina Disciples of Christ." With this 
design he prints (pages 18-44) the records of the church for the 
years 1827-1840, which came into his hands on February 2, 1947. 
These show Rountree was founded as a Baptist church in 1827, 
was for some years a member of the Neuse Baptist Association, 

102 The North Carolina Historical Review 

by degrees was transformed into a church of "Reformers," (Disci- 
ples), in 1832, and has continued as such to this day, that is, this 
church was "the first in North Carolina to start and maintain 
without break the primal evolutionary trend to the Disciples." 
To make valid this point, the author prints some "other key docu- 
ments." He also has a "Foreword," a "Chronology of the Rountree 
Church," a list of its pastors, and a chapter of seven pages, in 
which are given genealogical data for the Founder's Four Gener- 
ations, the founder being Jesse Rountree (1765-1831). 

George W. Paschal. 

Wake Forest, N. C. 

The American Iliad. The Epic Story of the Civil War as Narrated by Eye- 
witnesses and Contemporaries. By Otto Eisenschiml and Ralph Newman. 
(Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Co. 1947. Pp. 720. $5.00.) 

For four years during the American Civil War the sword was 
in constant and feverish activity, piling up battle after battle for 
history to record. For those four years and for many times four 
years thereafter the pen rivaled the sword in activity, equally as 
constant and perhaps more feverish, piling up account after 
account of battles for historians to evaluate. That generals used 
their pens to explain the failures of their swords is well known. 
Not as well known is the fact that other participants and contem- 
poraries confided to their personal records their experiences in or 
their observations upon the great conflict. From this mass of 
accounts written by observers and participants the authors of 
The American Iliad have selected what they consider to be inter- 
esting and significant passages and have woven them together 
into narrative form by means of a running commentary. They 
have chosen not only from the better known productions of im- 
portant figures but also from those of the obscure and the un- 
known. The selections are excellently made and even the special 
student of the war will find material of significance with which 
he is not apt to be familiar and which will add to his understand- 
ing of the conflict. Every phase of the war is included, and from 
both sides. Strategy and tactics are not avoided, for many of the 
accounts bring out the reasons why armies moved where they did 
and why they attacked or defended on a particular battlefield. 

Book Reviews 103 

Human interest and local color, which add validity to any re- 
search, abound. The importance of material forces in war are 
amply illustrated, but the equal importance of the spiritual and 
moral forces at the front and at home are in no wise neglected. 
Contemporaries have written this book and the authors have 
merely done a good job of selecting and putting together. 

But this is a good book which should have been a better one. 
In the foreword the authors explain that "now and then ... we 
have found it desirable to make slight changes" in the selections 
quoted. "A general may have been a fine strategist but a clumsy 
writer, a correspondent a good leporter but one who cluttered his 
sentences with commas and semicolons." Moreover, they admit 
that they have condensed some of the material while other por- 
tions are quoted verbatim. Extra sentences have been added in 
order to supply continuity and avoid lengthy explanations. When 
original wordings have seemed obscure they have clarified them. 
They have tried to make grammar, punctuation, and spelling con- 
form to a pattern throughout, but they acknowledge that some- 
times this has not been done. The confusing and provoking thing 
about these practices is that the authors have devised no way by 
which the reader is made aware when there has been a change in 
the material. There are no footnotes to indicate alerations, no 
quotation marks, no brackets, no changes in type, no device to 
show whether or not the source is quoted verbatim or whether it 
has been changed. At times it is extremely difficult, and at other 
times virtually impossible, to tell when the authors are speaking 
in their running commentary and when the contemporaries are 
speaking for themselves. For the critical student these unfortun- 
ate obscurations minimize, if they do not entirely destroy, the 
usefulness that the book would otherwise have for him. 

Nevertheless the authors deserve praise for their laborious 
work of wading through the tremendous quantities of materials 
on the Civil War and selecting accounts that, compiled in one 
volume, furnish easy access to sources of history which were 
formerly difficult to secure. The arrangement of the records, the 
simplicity of their presentation, the impartiality of their choices, 
the unusually clear maps and the adequate, though not exhaus- 
tive, bibliography all enhance the value of this introduction to 
secondary materials for the war years. The authors have done a 

104 The North Carolina Historical Review 

useful job which required great patience, industry, and judgment, 
and to their labors we are indebted for an unusual presentation 
of history. 

Frontis W. Johnston. 

Davidson College, 
Davidson, N. C. 

From Slavery to Freedom: A History of American Negroes. By John Hope 
Franklin. (New York:. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 1947. Pp. xv, 622. Illustra- 
ted. Trade edition, $5.00; textbook edition, $3.75.) 

North Carolina can lay claim to this history of the American 
Negro. Its author was for years a teacher at St. Augustine's Col- 
lege in Raleigh and at North Carolina College in Durham. He serv- 
ed his apprenticeship in history by writing The Free Negro in 
North Carolina, which was published at Chapel Hill in 1943. The 
book under review was largely written before Dr. Franklin left 
North Carolina to become a professor at Howard University in 

From Slavery to Freedom is obviously written by a Negro for 
the use of Negroes. It does not conform to the cold standards of 
objectivity successfully set forth in Gunnar Myrdal's An Ameri- 
can Dilemma. Dr. Franklin does not include in his narrative some 
of the harsher realities of the Negro's past which the objective 
white historian might include. This is pointedly illustrated by the 
criticism of the military historian, Bell I. Wiley, of what the 
Negro scholar says about the black man's conduct in the Second 
World War. Dr. Franklin's interpretation is as the self-respect- 
ing Negro would have it. He gives the narrative a restrained bias 
satisfying to the intelligent Negro in much the same way that 
the intelligent white patriot is satisfied by a scholarly but sym- 
pathetic textbook history of the United States. I dare say that 
the Franklin book will not be popular enough to serve the varied 
uses of the Negro demogogues, but it will attract the more intelli- 
gent blacks as well as those among the whites who want an honest 
evaluation of the facts about the Negro. It avoids the lyrical ex- 
travagances of W.E.B. DuBois's books and the boastful vindictive- 
ness of Carter G. Woodson's histories. This explains perhaps the 
ill-considered attack upon it in a recent issue of The Journal of 
Negro History. This leads to the prediction that the book will long 

Book Reviews 105 

command attention as the standard one-volume work on Negro 

The greatest virtue of the book is its completeness, its cover- 
ing of the whole field of Negro endeavor from ancient origins to 
the time of Harry Truman, with almost nothing on the subject 
left out of the index about which one may be curious. Perhaps, 
as the reviewer in The Journal of Negro History suggests, the 
chapters on Africa and Latin America might have been omitted 
because of their supposed irrelevancy to American problems. But 
the student of the American race question feels the need of 
evaluations based on comparisons. What Dr. Franklin says about 
Africa and Latin America makes the best possible source for a 
comparative treatment of the American black. 

Dr. Franklin is weakest when he does what the historians 
of American racial minorities usually do: overemphasize the 
parts of their respective groups in the great events of American 
history. Dr. Franklin has much to say about the part of black 
heroes in the great American explorations and wars. His cata- 
logue of names is interesting but not of great significance. Un- 
fortunately color prejudices have denied the Negro an important 
part in the direction of historic events. Dr. Franklin is best when 
he describes those racial developments in which the Negro has 
been allowed full expression. His chapters on the slaves, the free 
persons of color, black Reconstruction, the great migration to the 
North, and the social and cultural strivings of the New Negro are 
both intimate and objective. They tell what the Negro has done on 
his own level of existence rather than the disagreeable story of 
his attempt to help the white man perform tasks in which the 
Negro's aid has generally not been appreciated. 

Francis B. Simkins. 

State Teachers College, 
Farmville, Virginia. 

Colonists in Bondage: White Servitude and Convict Labor in America, 1607- 
1776. By Abbot Emerson Smith. (Chapel Hill, N. C: The University of 
North Carolina Press, 1947. Pp. viii, 435. $5.00.) 

This attractive volume gives renewed attention to a fact too 
often neglected : the important part played by bond servitude in 
the settlement and development of America. Excluding the Puri- 

106 The North Carolina Historical Review 

tan migration of the 1630's, writes Dr. Smith, "not less than one- 
half, nor more than two-thirds, of all white immigrants to the 
colonies were indentured servants or redemptioners or convicts." 
By their labor, the wilderness was subdued, the soil was culti- 
vated, and often too tasks were performed which required skilled 
hands. They were the ancestors of more present-day Americans 
than any other group of the white colonial population. 

But, though the importance of the subject is obvious, this is 
the first reasonably complete account, earlier ones having for 
the most part confined their attention to a single colony or to a 
single type of servant. This book is distinguished too for its use 
of a wide variety of source material both from English and 
American repositories. 

The transportation of servants to the colonies was chiefly a 
private enterprise of the most ruthless sort. The profits were 
large due to the great need for labor, and the transportation costs 
were relatively low. Though there were occasional efforts to ob- 
tain governmental interference to combat the greed which char- 
acterized the entrepreneurs, they were seldom successful and the 
few cases in which the government itself acted as an agent show 
the reluctance with which it intervened. 

The indentured servants were characteristic of the seventeenth 
century, the redemptioners of the eighteenth. The latter were 
generally of higher character; they came in family groups and 
usually had some means though not sufficient to pay the entire 
cost of their passage. They were chiefly German or Swiss, al- 
though many Irish and English were transported under redemp- 
tionist agreements. Convicts came in considerable numbers in 
both centuries, particularly to Maryland and Virginia. During 
some periods, half the bond servants transported were convicts. 

The value of these servants, whatever the handicaps of this 
method of colonizing, was certainly great. It is harder to evaluate 
their social effect. Most writers, relying almost exclusively upon 
court records, have tended to characterize them almost entirely 
as rogues and scoundrels. Dr. Smith seems to agree with them, 
even though with commendable restraint he has refused to let 
those who appear in the official records as trouble makers domi- 
nate his account. Contemporary witnesses are almost unanimous 
that the system tended to make the colonies sinks of European re- 

Book Reviews 107 

fuse. Fortunately, Dr. Smith says, pioneer conditions speedily 
winnowed "the vast influx of riffraff which descended upon the 
settlements; the residue, such as it was, became the American 

The valuable appendix in which the author attempts to give a 
statistical estimate of the number and distribution of indentured 
servants illustrates the difficulties of his task in general. Figures 
from the port of London seem to be fairly complete for some 
years, but for the most part they are decidedly scanty and can 
hardly be regarded as more than estimates. After examining these 
figures, one is not surprised that the author is reluctant to carry 
his generalizations far. 

All in all, in its significance, its readability, and in its typog- 
raphy, this volume sets a high standard for later publications of 
the Institute at Williamsburg. 

Robert E. Moody. 

Boston University, 
Boston, Mass. 

General Gage in America. By John Richard Alden. (Baton Rouge: The 
Louisiana State University Press, 1948. Pp. xi, 313. Illustrations. $4.00.) 

In spite of the fact that he has scorned the "fetish of documen- 
tation'' and has prepared no formal bibliography, Professor Alden 
has produced a worthwhile study of General Thomas Gage, com- 
mander in chief of the British Army in North America and 
governor of Massachusetts. Gage, generally heretofore pictured 
in an unfavorable light, is presented anew as an honorable and 
competent soldier and civil servant. Basing his biography, for the 
most part, on the General Thomas Gage manuscripts in the Wil- 
liam L. Clements Library of the University of Michigan, Mr. 
Alden reveals that Gage was relieved of his American command 
in 1775, not because of incompetence, but rather because of Anglo- 
Scottish quarreling and because of his insistence before and after 
the shooting began that America could not be conquered without 
a British effort involving thousands of men and several years. 

General Gage in America is a "life and times" biography with 
the accent so often placed on the "times" that one must continual- 
ly remind himself that this is a biography of Gage and not a 

108 The North Carolina Historical Review 

history of the coming of the Revolution. In a brief bibliographical 
note the author credits "much material" to "authoritative writ- 
ings by Claude H. Van Tyne, Herbert Osgood, Charles M. 
Andrews, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Allen French, and many other 
distinguished scholars too numerous to name," yet through the 
text these authorities are not cited for facts or interpretations, 
though often easily recognized. Much as a frugal Revolutionary 
housewife might have reknit a worn sock, adding a few new 
strands of wool to strengthen weak threads, so has Mr. Alden re- 
told an old story with new facts. 

The author's style, though occasionally trite (as, for example, 
the use of "pretty" — "taxes were pretty high," and "British 
leaders were pretty well agreed," on page 106 and again on pages 
126, 128, and 130) is generally quite varied. His choice of words 
is commendable. As a whole the chapters are uneven in their ap- 
peal. The chapter entitled "The Boston Massacre and After" 
stands out as particularly well written. 

Physically the book is well made and adequately illustrated but 
the index, while extensive, cannot be relied upon to give absolutely 
every reference to a subject contained in the book. 

William S. Powell. 

State Department of Archives and History, 
Raleigh, N. C. 

The Unhurried Years; Memories of the Old Natchez Region. By Pierce 
Butler. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1948. Pp. xvi, 
198. Illustrations. $3.00.) 

To his many other varied writings, dean emeritus Butler of 
Newcomb College has added a rather intriguing account of the 
plantation with which his family has been continuously associated 
since shortly before the American Revolution. The place, known as 
Laurel Hill, is located near Natchez, Mississippi. 

The account is neither a memoir, an autobiography, nor a 
specialized historical study; perhaps its subject matter should be 
described as all three of these forms of writing pressed somewhat 
indiscriminately between two covers. Portions of the book are 
based on a study of family papers; other sections are reminis- 
cences. It possesses little continuity and no connecting theme ex- 
cept, as intended, the influence of Laurel Hill upon its occupants. 

Book Reviews 109 

Family members enter, leave, and return in amazing and some- 
times confusing and baffling procession, some briefly, others ex- 
tensively. Dean Butler's personal approach to his subject begins 
with the period since the Civil War. Miscellany and digressions 
mark the story throughout. Still, the book is an entrancing one, 
and the reader who is interested in the subject of everyday plan- 
tation life in the Deep South, old and new, will profit from this 
"non-scientific" volume. 

As might be expected, to the author the project of preparing 
an account of his home and family has been a labor of love, and 
that is as it should be. His style is excellent, since he is an English 
scholar who has written extensively on Shakespeare and in the 
fields of medieval history, Southern literature, and the Civil War. 
Here, however, he has not prepared a study with footnotes, bibli- 
ography, index, and the usual fixings of the special historical 
work. Several charming and interesting illustrations are includ- 
ed. His book is, in part, of the popular type and is another ex- 
pression of the nostalgia so well traced by Francis Pendleton 
Gaines in The Southern Plantation, A Study in the Development 
and Accuracy of a Tradition (New York, 1924) . If this signifi- 
cant fact is remembered, one may relax with Dean Pierce's book 
in anticipation of enjoyment and some instruction. 

Weymouth T. Jordan. 

Alabama Polytechnic Institute, 
Auburn, Ala. 

The Memoirs of Lieut. Henry Timberlake. London, 1765. Reprint by 
Samuel Cole Williams. (Marietta, Georgia: Continental Book Company — 
The Watauga Press. 1948. Pp. 175. $5.00.) 

First-hand information about the Cherokee Indians is found 
in the "Memoirs" of Lieutenant Henry Timberlake, a Virginia 
officer who served in the French and Indian War. He volunteered 
to visit the Cherokee and from his observations he furnished 
ample description of the Indians and their villages along the Little 
Tennessee River. In order to promote friendly relations between 
the Indians and the Englishmen, he accompanied a delegation of 
Cherokee to England, one of whom was the prominent chief 
Ostenaco. Experiences of the delegation are described in detail. 

110 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Later another party of Indians was escorted to England by Tim- 

A close observer and able narrator, Timberlake ranks high 
among authorities on Cherokee history and ethnology. He died in 
England in 1765, probably before his book was off the press. 

The small volume of "Memoirs" was not reprinted until Judge 
Samuel Cole Williams, formerly Justice of the Supreme Court of 
Tennessee, prepared an edition. In this valuable reprint Judge 
Williams has preserved the original and has added thorough anno- 
tation. There are three plates: a portrait of Ostenaco drawn by 
Sir Joshua Reynolds, Timberlake's excellent map of the Little 
Tennessee settlements, and "A Curious secret Journal taken by 
the Indinas out of the Pocket of a French Officer they had kiird." 

Douglas L. Rights. 

Wachovia Historical Society, 

Winston-Salem, N. C. 

An Anthropological Bibliography of the Eastern Seaboard. Research publi- 
cation No. 1, Eastern States Archeological Federation. Edited by Irving 
Rouse and John M. Goggin. (New Haven, Conn.: Published by the 
Federation at the Yale Peabody Museum. 1948. Pp. 174.) 

The objectives of the Eastern States Archeological Federation, 
as stated in its constitution, are "to promote scientific investiga- 
tion of archeological remains in the eastern United States and to 
establish a plan for inter-state cooperation in the field of arche- 
ological research." 

In 1937 the president of the society for the year, Dr. Cornelius 
Osgood of Yale University, planned a bibliography project for the 
federation and served as first director. After 1938 the bibliog- 
raphy has been developed by Dr. Irving Rouse of Yale, assisted 
in final preparation by John M. Goggin. 

The introduction states that this is a gross bibliography. It 
includes therefore items that may have little significance, but 
the wide range includes publications of weight and lesser material 
that might prove its worth in the long run. 

The states of the federation include all the area draining into 
the Atlantic. Material is listed according to the divisions : General, 
Eastern Canada, New England, Middle Atlantic States, Southeast. 

Book Reviews 111 

The three departments represented separately are archeology, 
ethnology, and history. 

There are items, of course, that failed to make the first volume 
of eastern bibliography, but later supplements can be provided. 
As it stands, the bibliography is a standard for reference not to 
be overlooked in research. 

Douglas L. Rights. 
Wachovia Historical Society, 
Winston- Salem, N. C. 

The Western Country in 1793. Reports on Kentucky and Virginia. By Harry 
Toulmin, edited by Marion Tinling and Godfrey Davies. (San Marino, 
California. Pp. xx, 141. $3.75.) 

Miss Tinling and Mr. Davies have written an excellent prefatory 
essay to this volume. They have combined biographical data with 
historical criticism to raise some interesting questions. Harry 
Toulmin's connection with A Description of Kentucky in North 
America: to which are prefixed miscellaneous observations and 
Thoughts on Emigration present a genuine puzzle. In 1945 the 
University of Kentucky Press reprinted A Description of Ken- 
tucky in its Reprint Series. No effort was made to determine the 
detailed facts about the background manuscript story of the 
book. At that time there was an argument over the pamphlets 
on emigration found in the Wilson copy which is now in the 
University of Kentucky Library. 

The editors of this new volume have discovered Toulmin's 
"real description of Kentucky" and published it in the volume 
under review. This material is printed from a collection of "Toul- 
min manuscripts" made by some unknown person contemporary 
with the author. There are eleven parts of the present book which 
are made up of Toulmin letters. Five of these relate to Virginia 
and Maryland five to Kentucky. Toulmin's observations have a 
freshness and authenticity about them which make his writings 
both interesting and extremely useful. Perhaps three aspects of 
his observations stand out: the contrast between the Eastern 
Seaboard and Kentucky; the scale of prices and the economic 
situation in Kentucky; and the problems which the emigrant to 
the West could expect to face. 

112 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Toulmin's descriptions do not contain as much personal matter 
as do many of the eighteenth-century travel accounts, but the 
impersonal observations are of invaluable assistance. The publish- 
ers have done an excellent job with the format of this book, and 
the editors have included a highly useful index. This will become 
a much-used source not only by Virginia, Kentucky, and the 
frontier historians, but likewise by students of eighteenth century 

Thomas D. Clark. 

University of Kentucky, 
Lexington, Kentucky 

Thirteenth Annual Report of the Archivist of the United States, for the Year 
Ending June 30, 1947. The National Archives, Publication No. 48-6. 
(Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1948. Pp. vi, 

If you saw the Freedom Train when it was on exhibit in the city 
nearest you, it is likely that you will want to read the national 
Archivist's brief statement about it. Readers of his thirteenth 
annual report will find an expression of hesitancy at the thought 
that "some of the most priceless documents in the custody of the 
Archivist" should be thus "taken to the people" throughout the 
nation. But the Archivist resolved his doubts in the affirmative. 
"These documents and the rights and privileges they embody be- 
long to the American people, who won them and who keep on 
fighting for them. It seems only just, therefore, that the docu- 
ments should not be kept immured but should be permitted to play 
their part in the American Heritage Foundation's program of re- 
dedication to the American ideals they symbolize." Thus it was 
that treasured manuscripts from other depositories and from the 
National Archives were assembled there last summer and pre- 
pared for exhibition. It was, as the Archivist triumphantly pro- 
claims, "a unique opportunity to serve the people of the United 

The forty-three pages of the body of this annual report contain 
other notes of triumph. The Archivist rejoices that almost twice 
as many records were received during the year under review as 
in the previous year. More specifically, for example, he explains 
the acquisition of unprecedented quantities of maps and motion 

Book Reviews 113 

pictures. He reports with pride that the federal government's 
records of the Second World War "are now substantially under 
administrative control," though he does not yet claim that the 
million cubic feet of these records which are being selected for 
preservation from the total volume twelve times as large are now 
under "intellectual control, in the sense that the data they contain 
are known and usable." Nevertheless, despite the year's volumi- 
nous accessions, he asserts proudly that a staff still below its 
pre-war size managed to reduce appreciably the backlog of 
materials received but not yet analyzed and described for maxi- 
mum accessibility. 

On the other hand, he records with lament the discontinuance 
within its first year — because "the purpose of the project was 
misunderstood" and requested appropriations were not obtained — 
of a comprehensive four-year "program to describe in a series of 
guides the records of the Government's experience in World War 
II" which was "essential if the Nation is to benefit from that 

In the opinion of the uninitiated the National Archives, like 
every governmental agency, should be able to justify its existence. 
Such folk will find in this annual report rather ample and some- 
times amusing summaries of the extremely varied questions 
which this institution and its inestimably valuable research re- 
sources were able to answer. Indeed, the staff performed more 
than a thousand reference services per working day throughout 
the year for almost every imaginable type of investigator, among 
them being historians of American literature, historical novelists, 
prosecutors of war criminals, and a man born at sea who had been 
trying in vain for years to prove his birth and hence his citizen- 
ship. Readers who approach this volume with more specific ob- 
jectives will probably also appreciate its index and its appendices. 
The latter include formal lists of the year's accessions and of the 
number and title of every "record group" preserved in this official 

W. Edwin Hemphill. 

World War II History Division, 

Virginia State Library, 

Charlottesville, Virginia 


Back numbers of The North Carolina Historical Review may be 
procured from the State Department of Archives and History at 
50 cents per copy or $2 per volume, by writing D. L. Corbitt, 
Division of Publications, Box 1881, Raleigh, N. C. There is still 
a limited number of complete files of this publication available. 

On October 7 the Elizabeth Maxwell Steele Chapter of the 
Daughters of the American Revolution unveiled a monument at 
Thyatira Church, Rowan County, honoring Elizabeth Maxwell 
Steele. Dr. Archibald Henderson of the University of North 
Carolina presided at the exercises and Mr. William D. Kizziah of 
Salisbury made the principal address. Mrs. J. R. Norwood and 
Mr. Edwin C. Gregory of Salisbury made brief talks. Rev. James 
R. Phillips, pastor of Thyatira Church, pronounced the invoca- 
tion and Rev. Samuel Edwards gave the benediction. 

Mr. Edward F. Burrows of Oswego, S. C, who has been doing 
graduate work at the University of Wisconsin, has joined the 
faculty of Guilford College as assistant professor of history. 

On November 15 a portrait of George Ross Pou, state auditor 
of North Carolina 1937-1947, was unveiled in the Auditor's 
Office in the Capitol. The Rev. James McDowell Dick, rector of 
the Church of the Good Shepherd, pronounced the invocation and 
R. Gregg Cherry presented the portrait. The portrait was un- 
veiled by Bryan Carr, Jr., Watts Carr, III, and Mary Spotswood 
Pou, grandchildren of George Ross Pou. The portrait was accept- 
ed on behalf of the people of the state by Mr. Henry L. Bridges, 
auditor of the state of North Carolina. 

On December 9 a portrait of Dr. Paul P. McCain was unveiled 
in the lobby of the North Carolina Tuberculosis Sanatorium at 
McCain, N. C. The portrait was presented by the North Caro- 
lina Medical Society in recognition of Dr. McCain's service in the 
field of tuberculosis treatment in the state and was unveiled by 
Miss Sarah Johnson McCollum, two-year-old granddaughter of 

C 114 1 

Historical News 115 

Dr. McCain. Justice Wiley Rutledge of the United States Su- 
preme Court delivered the dedicatory address. Dr. Paul Ringer 
of Asheville, a member of the board of directors of the institu- 
tion, accepted the portrait on behalf of the Sanitorium. Dr. Paul 
F. Whitaker of Kinston, chairman of the McCain Memorial Com- 
mittee, presided at the ceremonies. 

On December 8 a highway marker was unveiled on East Main 
Street in front of the Cherry Funeral Home in Washington, 
N. C, honoring Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the Navy, 1913- 
1921, Ambassador to Mexico, 1931-1942, editor of The News 
and Observer, and author of several books. Mr. Jonathan Daniels, 
editor of The News and Observer, delivered the principal address. 
Mrs. E. B. Kugler, regent of the Major Reading Blount Chapter 
of the Daughters of the American Revolution, led the services 
and Miss Gertrude S. Carraway, state regent of the Daughters 
of the American Revolution accepted the marker. Congressman 
Herbert C. Bonner introduced the speaker. 

On October 31 Fall Creek Baptist Church of Wayne County 
observed its 100th anniversary. Rev. H. C. Moore of Ridgecrest 
delivered the anniversary sermon. 

Miss Gertrude S. Carraway, a member of the Executive Board 
of the State Department of Archives and History and state re- 
gent of the Daughters of the American Revolution, on December 
3 spoke to the Caswell Nash Chapter of the Daughters of the 
American Revolution in Raleigh on the accomplishments of that 

The State Literary and Historical Association held its forty- 
eighth annual session in Raleigh on December 3. The morning 
session consisted of the following papers: "Development of In- 
terest in the Common Schools of North Carolina, 1868-1890," by 
Dr. George W. Paschal of Wake Forest ; "Southern Authors Re- 
veal A Changing South," by Mr. George M. Stephens of Ashe- 
ville ; and "Review of North Carolina Books and Authors of the 
Year," by Miss Mary C. Wiley of Winston-Salem. At the business 
meeting Mr. W. T. Bost of Raleigh was elected president ; Dr. D. 

116 The North Carolina Historical Review 

J. Whitener of Boone, Dr. Paul Murray of Greenville, and Mr. 
Kemp P. Battle of Rocky Mount were elected vice-presidents; 
and Dr. Christopher Crittenden was re-elected secretary-treas- 
urer. Miss Mary Lynch Johnson and Judge J. Crawford Biggs 
were elected members of the executive committee. At the evening 
session Dr. Alice M. Baldwin of Durham delivered the presiden- 
tial address ; Rev. Douglas L. Rights, governor of the Society of 
Mayflower Descendants in North Carolina, presented the May- 
flower award; and Mr. John W. Vandercook of New York de- 
livered a talk entitled, "Is the Marshall Plan Working?" 

Dr. Charles S. Sydnor of Duke University was awarded the 
Mayflower Society award at the annual meeting of the State 
Literary and Historical Association for the best book published 
by a resident North Carolinian during the year. Dr. Sydnor's 
book entitled The Development of Southern Sectionalism, 1819- 

The North Carolina State Art Society held its twenty-second 
annual meeting on December 1 in Raleigh. Mrs. Katherine P. 
Arrington, president of the Society, brought presidential greet- 
ings. Mr. William F. Davidson, vice-president of the Knoedler 
Galleries of New York, gave a discussion on the paintings on ex- 
hibition entitled "Daingerfield and his Contemporaries," and 
Miss Marjorie Daingerfield of New York gave a demonstration 
of portrait sculpture. The general business meeting was held 
December 2 at which time Mrs. Katherine P. Arrington was re- 
elected president. Mrs. James E. Latham of Greensboro, Mr. John 
Allcott of Chapel Hill, and Mrs. Isabelle Bowen Henderson of 
Raleigh were elected vice-presidents. Mrs. James H. Cordon was 
re-elected treasurer and Mass Lucy Cherry Crisp of Raleigh was 
re-elected executive secretary. Dr. Clarence Poe, Mr. William 
Henley Deitrick, Mr. Edwin Gill, Mrs. Katharine Morris, all of 
Raleigh, and Dr. Robert Lee Humber of Greenville were elected 
members of the executive committee. Mrs. J. H. B. Moore of 
Greenville, Mrs. Charles Tucker of Warrenton, Mrs. William 
Dunn of New Bern, Mr. William T. Joyner of Raleigh, Mrs. E. 0. 
Efird of Winston-Salem, Mr. William Meade Price of Chapel 

Historical News 117 

Hill, Mrs. Peter McK. Williams of Fayetteville, Mrs. Frank Dun- 
lap of Wadesboro, Mrs. Percy Grimes of Salisbury, Mrs. Harold 
Dwelle of Charlotte, Mrs. 0. Max Gardner of Shelby, and Mr. 
Anthony Lord of Asheville were elected congressional district 
vice-presidents. Mrs. Henry M. London of Linden, Mr. William 
Henley Dietrick, Dr. Clarence Poe, Mr. Edwin Gill, Miss Katha- 
rine Morris, and Mrs. Alexander Crane, all of Raleigh ; Mr. John 
Rembert of Chapel Hill, and Mrs. Earle Mueller of Durham were 
elected members of the board of trustees. 

Awards of $200 each were presented to the following persons : 
Mrs. Primrose McPherson Robertson of Raleigh for her picture 
in oil entitled "Beulah's Baby," Miss Harriet Bogart of Charlotte 
for her painting in oil entitled "Little Girl with Chicken/ ' and 
Mr. John Rembert of Chapel for his picture in watercolor en- 
titled "By the Winds Grieved." 

The North Carolina Folk-Lore Society held its thirty-seventh 
annual session in Raleigh on December 3. At this session Dr. 
George P. Wilson of Greensboro read a paper entitled "Folk 
Speech in North Carolina" and Dr. Richard Jente of Chapel Hill 
read a paper entitled "North Carolina Proverbs." Mr. Bascom 
Lamar Lunsf ord of Asheville presented a folklore feature consist- 
ing of mountain ballards played on the fiddle by Mr. Marcus 
Martin. At the business session the following officers were elect- 
ed: Dr. Newman I. White of Durham, president; Dr. Richard 
Jente of Chapel Hill, Mr. Cratis D. Williams of Boone, and Mr. 
B. E. Washburn of Rutherf ordton, vice-presidents ; and Dr. A. P. 
Hudson of Chapel Hill, secretary-treasurer. 

The Society of Mayflower descendents in the State of North 
Carolina held its annual dinner meeting in Raleigh on December 
2. At the business meeting Mrs. Thomas Jefferson Byerly of 
Winston-Salem was elected governor. Also the following officers 
were re-elected: Mr. Richard S. Tufts of Pinehurst, deputy- 
governor ; Judge Samuel J. Ervin of Morganton, counsellor ; Miss 
May W. Pruett of Greenville, S. C, secretary-treasurer; Mr. 
Burnham S. Colburn of Biltmore Forest, historian; and Mr. 
James G. K. McClure of Fairview, elder. 

118 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The North Carolina Society for the Preservation of Antiquities 
held its eighth annual session in Raleigh on December 2. Mrs. 
Charles A. Cannon, president of the Society, brought greetings. 
Mrs. Edwin R. MacKethan of Fayetteville made a talk on the 
Old Market House, the Elliott Daingerf ield Shrine, and other old 
buildings in Fayetteville, and Mr. John A. Oats of Fayetteville 
made a talk entitled "Tales and Traditions of the Upper Cape 
Fear." Mrs. D. S. Currie of Parkton presented descendants of 
Flora Macdonald and Mrs. C. Bion Sears and Flora Macdonald 
College girls under the direction of Mr. Robert Reuter, director 
of music, presented the Highland Fling and Scottish Ballards. 
Mrs. Charles A. Cannon presented awards to persons who dur- 
ing the year interested themselves in reserving and making 
known the history of North Carolina and the restoration of his- 
torical buildings in the state. Each person was presented with a 
replica of a silver bowl which was presented to the Society by 
Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Cannon and which will be awarded 
annually. Those who received the awards were Mrs. James E. 
Latham of Greensboro, Mrs. Inglis Fletcher of Edenton, Miss 
Gertrude S. Carraway of New Bern, Dr. Adelaide L. Fries of 
Winston-Salem, Mr. Paul Green of Chapel Hill, Dr. Archibald 
Henderson of Chapel Hill, Rev. Douglas L. Rights of Winston- 
Salem, Dr. Charles Lee Smith of Raleigh, and Dr. Christopher 
Crittenden of Raleigh. At the business meeting Mrs. Charles A. 
Cannon of Concord was re-elected president of the Society ; Mrs. 
Inglis Fletcher of Edenton was elected vice-president; and Mrs. 
Ernest A. Branch of Raleigh was re-elected secretary-treasurer. 
The following persons were re-elected district vice-presidents; 
Mrs. Samuel N. Clark of Tarboro, first congressional district; 
Mrs. Katherine P. Arrington of Warrenton, second congressional 
district ; Mrs. R. N. Duffy of New Bern, third congressional dis- 
trict; Mrs. Charles Lee Smith of Raleigh, fourth congressional 
district; Mrs. Gordon Gray of Winston-Salem, fifth congres- 
sional district; Mrs. John A. Kellenberger of Greensboro, sixth 
congressional district ; Mrs. Henry A. MacMillan of Wilmington, 
seventh congressional district; Mrs. George H. Maurice of Eagle 
Springs, eighth congressional district; Mrs. Henkel Spillman of 
Statesville, ninth congressional district ; Miss Julia J. Robertson 
of Charlotte, tenth congressional district; Mr. Ralph Erskine of 

Historical News 119 

Tryon, eleventh congressional district; and Mrs. Robert Cecil of 
Asheville, twelfth congressional district. The following persons 
were re-elected as members of the board of directors : Mrs. James 
E. Latham of Greensboro, Miss Gertrude S. Carraway of New 
Bern, Dr. Adelaide L. Fries of Winston-Salem, Mrs. R. L. Mac- 
Millan of Raleigh, and Dr. Archibald Henderson of Chapel Hill. 

The Woman's Club of Raleigh gave a tea on December 2 honor- 
ing the members of the State Literary and Historical Associa- 
tion, the North Carolina Society of County Historians, the North 
Carolina State Art Society, The North Carolina Folk-Lore Soci- 
ety, and The North Carolina Society for the Preservation of 

At the luncheon meeting of the North Carolina Society for the 
Preservation of Antiquities, Dr. Ronald F. Lee of Washington, 
D. C, chief historian of the National Park Service, spoke on the 
importance of conserving the nation's historical sites and build- 

The North Carolina Society of County Historians held its an- 
nual meeting in Raleigh on December 3. Mr. Malcolm Fowler 
of Lillington was re-elected president, Mr. Willis G. Briggs of 
Raleigh was elected vice-president, and Mr. John H. Monger of 
Sanford was re-elected secretary-treasurer. At the meeting it 
announced that Rev. E. H. Davis of Louisburg had published 
Historical Sketches of Franklin County and Miss Mattie Blood- 
worth of Burgaw had published History of Pender County. It 
was also announced that Mr. James G. W. MacClamroch is writ- 
ing a history of Guilford County, Mr. John A. Oates of Fayette- 
ville is writing a history of Fayetteville and the surrounding 
area, and Mr. Malcolm Fowler is writing a history of the Upper 
Cape Fear region. 

The Historical Society of North Carolina met at the Woman's 
College of the University of North Carolina on November 13 for 
its fall meeting. Dr. C. 0. Cathy of the University of North Caro- 
lina read a paper entitled "The Development of Tools and Instru- 
ments in North Carolina Agriculture, 1783-1860," and Dr. Rich- 

120 The North Carolina Historical Review 

ard C. Todd of Duke University read a paper entitled "The Produce 
Loan : A Means of Financing the Confederacy." Dr. Adelaide L. 
Fries of Winston-Salem gave the presidential address entitled 
"A Century of the Textile Industry in Salem." At the business 
meeting the following officers were elected for the ensuing year : 
Dr. R. D. W. Connor of the University of North Carolina, pres- 
ident ; Dr. Charles S. Sydnor of Duke University, vice-president ; 
Dr. Cecil Johnson of the University of North Carolina, secretary- 
treasurer ; Dr. W. P. Cumming of Davidson College and Dr. D. J. 
Whitener of Appalachian State Teachers College, members of 
the Council. 

Dr. Newman I. White, professor of English at Duke Univer- 
sity and president of the North Carolina Folk-Lore Society, died 
on December 6 in Cambridge, Mass. Dr. White had been a mem- 
ber of the faculty of Duke University for 29 years. 

Mr. Lambert Davis, an editor of Harcourt, Brace & Company 
of New York, has been appointed director of the University of 
North Carolina Press. Mr. Davis succeeds Dr. T. J. Wilson, III, 
who resigned to become director of the Harvard University 

Mr. A. T. Outlaw of Kenansville has published a broadside 
entitled "The Historical Background of Duplin County, North 
Carolina. First Settlers were Scotch-Irish Descent — Formed 
Churches and Schools in Various Parts of the County." Those 
interested in procuring a copy of this broadside should write 
Mr. Outlaw, Kenansville. 

Mr. William N. Chambers, St. Louis, Missouri, has published 
"Young Man From Tennessee : First Years of Thomas Benton in 
Missouri," in The Bulletin, Vol IV, No. 4 (July 1948), published 
by the Missouri Historical Society. 

Dr. James E. King of the University of North Carolina recent- 
ly published an article entitled "The Orgin of the Term 'Political 
Economy' " in the Journal of Modern History, Vol. XX, No. 3 
(September 1948). 

Historical News 121 

Dr. Loren C. MacKinney of the University of North Carolina 
recently published an article entitled "Medieval History and 
Historians during World War II," in Medievalia et Hunamistica, 
Vol. V, 24-35 (1948). 

Miss Wilhelmina Barnett who has a A.M. degree from Howard 
University has joined the faculty of the history department of 
Fayetteville State Teachers College. 

Mr. James H. Brewer, a member of the faculty of the history 
department of Fayetteville State Teachers College, will receive 
his Ph.D. degree in history from the University of Pittsburgh 
in January. 

Dr. Joseph H. Douglas of the Fayetteville State Teachers Col- 
lege published "Certain Implications of the North Carolina Edu- 
cational Commissions Report as to the Education of Negroes 
within North Carolina," in North Carolina Teachers Report, 

Mr. John W. Parker of the Fayetteville State Teachers Col- 
lege, published 'The Emergence of Negro Fiction,' ' Negro His- 
tory Bulletin, (October 1948). He also published "Tomorrow in 
the Writings of Langston Hughes," in College English, 1948. 

Mr. Clarence A. Chick, Sr., of Fayetteville State Teachers Col- 
lege, published "A Retrospect of Court Decisions Effecting the 
Rights of Negroes on Public Convenances," Journal of Negro 
Education, Fall 1948. 

The Southern Historical Association held its fourteenth annual 
meeting November 4, 5, and 6 in Jackson, Mississippi. Papers 
read by North Carolinians at the sessions were as follows: Dr. 
William B. Hamilton of Duke University "The Establishment of 
Anglo-American Law in the Mississippi Territory" ; Mr. William 
M. Geer of the University of North Carolina "0. Max Gardner 
as a Textile Leader" ; Mr. Robert A. Lively of the University of 
North Carolina, "The Interpretation of the Southern Spirit in 
the Civil War Novel" ; Mr. Dewey W. Grantham of the Univer- 

122 The North Carolina Historical Review 

sity of North Carolina, "Hoke Smith: Progressive Governor of 
Georgia, 1907-1909" ; and Mr. Harry L. Stevens of Duke Univer- 
sity, "Perspectives of Mid-Western Frontier Historian on 
Foreign Problems, 1812-1860." Dr. Edgar W. Knight and Dr. 
Fletcher M. Green of the University of North Carolina discussed 
the subject, "What Constitutes a Good College History?" Dr. 
Charles S. Sydnor of Duke University presided at the annual 
dinner of the Association. 

Dr. J. C. Sitterson of the University of North Carolina was 
elected secretary-treasurer of the Southern Historical Associa- 
tion, at the annual meeting held in Jackson, Mississippi, on 
November 4-6. 

The twelfth annual meeting of the Society of American Ar- 
chivists and the eighth annual meeting of the American Asso- 
ciation for State and Local History were held jointly in Raleigh, 
on October 27, 28, and 29, with the State Department of Archives 
and History as host. Duke University cooperated by giving a 
luncheon and the University of North Carolina cooperated by 
giving a dinner in honor of these groups. During the meetings 
Dr. Charles S. Sydnor of Duke University read a paper, "What 
the Historian Expects of an Archival Agency or Historical 
Society." Mr. Paul Green of the University of North Carolina 
delivered an address " The Lost Colony' and 'The Common 
Glory' : Producing Historical Symphonic Dramas" ; Dr. Chris- 
topher Crittenden of the State Department of Archives and 
History and president of the Society of American Archivists, 
delivered the presidential address; Dr. Graham P. Roberts of 
Duke University made a talk on "The Manuscript and News- 
paper Collection in Duke University" ; Dr. Benjamin E. Powell 
of Duke University welcomed the organizations to that Institu- 
tion ; Dr. James W. Patton of the University of North Carolina 
read a paper "The Southern Historical Collection"; and Dr. 
Robert B. House of the University of North Carolina welcomed 
the organizations to that Institution. Dr. Christopher Crittenden 
presided at one of the meetings, Mr. D. L. Corbitt of the State 
Department of Archives and History also presided at a meeting, 
and Dr. A. R. Newsome of the University of North Carolina, pre- 

Historical News 123 

sided at a meeting at Chapel Hill. Mr. D. L. Corbit was chairman 
of the local arrangements committee. 

On September 12 the North Carolina Society of County His- 
torians made a tour of Iredell County which was conducted by 
Mr. William S. Powell of the State Department of Archives and 
History. Some of the places visited on this tour were Torrence's 
Tavern, Centre Church, Mount Mourne, Mooresville, Troutman, 
Bell's School, Fourth Creek Burying Ground, the Zeb Vance 
House, Mitchell College, the Caldwell House, the Simonton Place, 
Ebenezer Academy, Turnersburg, Carson Home site, Young 
Cemetery, and Fort Dobbs. During the tour a stop was made at 
Mitchell College in Statesville where a picnic lunch was served. 
Approximately fifty persons went on the tour. 

On October 24th the North Carolina Society of County His- 
torians toured Fayetteville and parts of Cumberland County. 
This tour was under the direction of Mr. John A. Oates of Fay- 
etteville. The group visited the Market House in Fayetteville, 
built in 1780, in which the general assembly passed an act author- 
izing the establishment of the University of North Carolina and 
in which the state convention adopted the Federal Constitution ; 
the site of the home of Flora Macdonald, Cool Spring Tavern, 
and other places. A picnic lunch was served in Eccles Park on 
the banks of Cross Creek near the site of the home of Warren 
Winslow. Other places of interest visited on this tour were con- 
nected in one way or another with Judah P. Benjamin, a mem- 
ber of the Confederate cabinet; James C. Dobbin, Secretary of 
the Navy; Dorothea L. Dix, founder of the State Hospital in 
Raleigh ; and Dr. Hugh McAden, who visited the section in 1756. 

The National Archives, Washington, D. C, has announced that 
it is reproducing in facsimile certain historical documents such as 
the Bill of Rights for sale to schools, libraries, and interested 

The Division of Manuscripts of the Library of Congress has 
announced the acquisition of the papers of Josephus Daniels, 
Secretary of the Navy in Woodrow Wilson's cabinet and Ambas- 

124 The North Carolina Historical Review 

sador to Mexico under Franklin D. Roosevelt. These papers were 
presented to the Library of Congress by his four sons, Dr. Worth 
B. Daniels, Mr. Josephus Daniels, Jr., Mr. Jonathan Daniels, and 
Mr. Frank A. Daniels. While some of the earlier files of this 
collection were reported to have been destroyed by fire, some 
materials prior to 1913 have been preserved. Much of the early 
material is family correspondence. The main body of the papers 
begins with Daniel's services as secretary of the Navy, 1912-1921. 
The files of 1921-1933 and 1942-1948 deal with the period when 
he was active editor of The News and Observer. These papers 
constitute one of the largest collections of personal papers in the 
Library and most of the collection is available for use by scholars. 

The Mississippi Valley Historical Review on October 1 urged 
graduate research students to compete for the Pelzer prize, a 
medal provided for by Mrs. Louis Pelzer and awarded to a candi- 
date for an advanced degree in any North American University 
for the best article on United States history. Articles submitted 
for the 1949 competition must be in the office of the managing 
editor of the Review not later than January 15 ; they should not 
exceed 9,000 words in length, including footnotes. The prize- 
winning study selected by a committee consisting of the man- 
aging editor and four other members appointed by the Missis- 
sippi Valley Historical Association's executive committee, will be 
published in the Review as the Pelzer prize article for the year. 
Those students interested in making application should apply to 
Dr. Wendell H. Stevenson, Managing Editor, The Mississippi 
Valley Historical Review, New Orleans 18, Louisiana. 

The Institute of Early American History and Culture under 
the sponsorship of the College of William and Mary and Colonial 
Williamsburg, Inc., Williamsburg, Virginia, has announced that 
it is prepared to provide a limited number of grants-in-aid of 
research to individual writers or scholars who are carrying on 
studies in the field of American history prior to the year 1815. 
The grants are made in conjunction with the publication pro- 
gram of the Institute and vary in value according to the needs of 
the individual during the period of which the grant is made and 
upon the condition that the recipients shall submit the completed 

Historical News 125 

product of their researches to the Institute for consideration for 
publication. Ordinarily grants will not exceed $1,000. Requests 
for application forms and other information should be adressed 
to the Director, Institute of Early American History and Culture, 
Goodwin Building, Williamsburg, Virginia. 


Mr. Richard Walser is an assistant professor of English at 
the North Carolina State College, Raleigh, North Carolina. 

Dr. Chalmers G. Davidson is a professor of history and di- 
rector of the Davidson College Library, Davidson College, David- 
son, North Carolina. 

Mr. Louis A. Brown is teaching in the Forsyth County public 
schools. His address is 2727 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem, 
North Carolina. 

The North Carolina 
Historical Review 

Volume XXVI APRIL, 1949 Number 2 

archeological EXPLORATIONS AT 

By J. C. Harrington 

Archeological excavations carried on at Fort Raleigh National 
Historic Site, Roanoke Island, North Carolina, during the springs 
of 1947 and 1948 have contributed important evidence that this 
was the site of Sir Walter Raleigh's ill-fated attempt to establish 
a colony on the American continent. Over the past few years, 
nation-wide public attention has been focused on this significant 
episode in American history by the presentation of Paul Green's 
symphonic drama, "The Lost Colony." Likewise, the designation 
of the area as a National Historic Site and its inclusion in the 
National Park System have increased public interest in the his- 
tory of the "Citie of Ralegh in Virginia," as well as having 
brought additional attention to the site itself. 

Historians have studied, and restudied, all readily available 
documentary records dealing with Raleigh's abortive colonizing 
efforts in North America during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, 
and a great deal has been written on the subject. But no matter 
how carefully the records were studied, or how ingeniously the 
meagre evidence was analyzed in relation to natural features and 
existing remains, no one could say with certainty that the tradi- 
tional site was actually that of Fort Raleigh. One might speculate 
on how the fort was built and what the little village looked like, 
but no one could go much beyond speculation. In regard to the 
houses, for instance, there are stray bits of recorded information, 
one suggesting that the houses had a second story and another in- 
dicating that the roofs were thatched. 

1 The traditional fort site and adjacent land, comprising an area of 16.45 acres, was 
transferred to the National Park Service of the United States Department of the Interior 
in 1940, and on April 5, 1941, under provision of the Historic Sites Act, it was designated 
the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. By a cooperative agreement between the Roanoke 
Island Historical Association and the United States, "The Lost Colony" drama may continue 
to be given each season in the Waterside Theatre at Fort Raleigh. 


128 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Thus it is with almost all of the documentary evidence con- 
cerning the location and physical appearance of the settlement. 
One reference, for example, suggests that the town was set apart 
from the fort, while another indicates that the houses were 
clustered closely around it. And as to the most intriguing ques- 
tion of all — what took place after Governor White went back to 
England in 1587 — there is only the stark evidence of the word 
CROATOAN which White found carved on a tree when he re- 
turned to Roanoke Island four years later. 

It has been quite apparent, therefore, that unless additional 
historical records are found, many of the questions concerning 
this episode in American history would have to go unanswered. 
But there was also the possibility that some evidence might have 
been left in the ground which archeological excavations would 
some day reveal. As soon after the war as possible, therefore, the 
National Park Service began preliminary excavations. In the 
preliminary explorations conducted at the site during the past 
two years, it was possible to explore only a portion of the area 
in which the "Citie of Ralegh" may have been located. 2 

The present article is a brief account of the general results of 
these preliminary explorations. Usually much more excavating 
is done before even a preliminary report is prepared, but because 
of the importance of the information recovered at the site and 
the uncertainty as to when the excavating can be resumed, it 
seems worth while to make that information available at this 
time. The present article, therefore, will not be detailed, as 
archeological reports go, and considerable information not par- 
ticularly pertinent or understandable at this stage will be omit- 
ted. Nor will I review, to any extent, the historical evidence al- 
ready presented in other sources. The accompanying diagrams 
and illustrations have been prepared for the present use and are 
greatly simplified. Detailed records of soil differences and mis- 
cellaneous minor features found in the excavations are not 
shown, although they are recorded in the field notes and draw- 
ings for use when the final study is prepared. 

As a necessary background for archeological investigations and 
for planning and carrying out adequate interpretive development 

2 The excavations described here were conducted by the National Park Service under the 
direction of the author, with the assistance of Robert Atkinson, Custodian, Fort Raleigh 
National Historic Site. 

Archeological Explorations at Fort Raleigh 129 

at the site, considerable documentary research had been done by 
the National Park Service before the war. 3 In addition to the 
reappraisal of early accounts, maps and records of later periods 
were studied. These included land records, wills, navigation 
charts, court records, accounts of travelers, and other sources 
which might relate to the problem of locating and identifying 
the site. Results of this research were compiled in manuscript 
form and later consolidated into a fairly comprehensive history 
of the site by Dr. Charles W. Porter, III. 4 

The program of exploratory excavating, begun in T;he spring 
of 1947 and continued during the spring of 1948, had quite defi- 
nite but limited objectives. The primary purpose was to deter- 
mine whether the traditional site was actually that of Fort 
Raleigh. The second objective was to locate the general area of 
the village in order that a program for more exhaustive exca- 
vating could be planned. The aim of the major excavating 
project, following the preliminary explorations, will be to learn 
all that is possible about Fort Raleigh — its houses, the fort, 
things the colonists used and wore, and if possible, what happen- 
ed to the colony left there by Governor White in 1587. 

The first step toward preserving and commemorating the 
site was taken in 1893 with the formation of the Roanoke Colony 
Memorial Association and its acquisition of the property the 
following year. In 1895 Talcott Williams carried on some archeo- 
logical explorations for the Association, of which more will be 
said later, and in 1896 the traditional fort ruins were surveyed 
and outlined with stone markers. 5 In 1932 the Roanoke Island 
Historical Association was organized, and during the next few 
years, with Federal aid, a series of log buildings and the water- 
side theatre were constructed. Also at this time a stockade and 
log blockhouse were erected at the fort site, but these have since 
been removed. The trench for the stockade, which extended more 
than four feet into the ground, and the stone footing for the 
blockhouse naturally cause some damage to the fort remains. 

3 This research was made possible through the programs of the Civilian Conservation Corps 
and the Works Progress Administration, and was carried on largely by Dr. Charles W. 
Porter and Dr. Frederick Tilberg of the National Park Service. 

4 Charles W. Porter, III, "Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, North Carolina : Part of 
the Settlement Sites of Sir Walter Raleigh's Colonies of 1585-1586 and 1587," The North 
Carolina Historical Review, XX (1943), 22-42. 

5 For a report on Williams' explorations and a description of the ruins in 1895, see Talcott 
Williams, "The Surroundings and Site of Raleigh's Colony," American Historical Association, 
Anmial Report, 1895, 47-61. Of the twenty-four granite markers outlining the fort, nine 
remain, eight of which are in their original location. 

130 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The site is heavily wooded, a fact which seriously hampers the 
archeological work and explains the apparent haphazard location 
of the exploratory trenches. The presence of roads and buildings 
also affected the location of the trenches. Except for sand dunes, 
the area is fairly level, ranging from ten to thirteen feet above 
the level of normal high tide in the sound. The dunes are rela- 
tively small, the highest rising twelve feet above the normal 
ground level. One dune, on which the log chapel stands, extends 
inland some 700 feet. This dune, as well as the ones along the 
shore, may occupy a part of the original village site. This im- 
poses a serious excavating problem, particularly since the recent 
archeological work has demonstrated that the dunes are of a 
later period than the settlement. 

Figure 1 shows the principal features at the site and the loca- 
tion of exploratory trenches excavated in 1947 and 1948. In 
beginning the archeological work, it was desirable to locate as 
early in the excavating as possible something tangible, that is, 
something unquestionably associated with the settlement. It 
seemed logical that if the traditional fort site could be authen- 
ticated, we would not only know that we were actually dealing 
with the original site, but would have some definite basis for 
further exploratory work. The first trench, therefore, was 
located across what appeared to be the remains of the southern 
bastion of the fort. The exact position of this trench, as well as 
later ones, was affected to some extent by the presence of trees. 
The principal reason for choosing this particular bastion was 
the statement by Talcott Williams that he had sunk no test 
trenches there during the 1895 excavations. 

As hoped for, definite remains of a fort were found in this 
first trench in the form of a ditch, apparently belonging to a 
military earthwork. It was realized that additional explorations 
at the fort would be required, even at this preliminary stage, but 
in the hope of securing some definite indications of the village 
site, trenches were next extended out from the fort in three 
directions. One series was run southwest to the public highway, 
one toward the northeast to the edge of the sand dunes along the 
shore, and the third northwestward toward the chapel, alto- 
gether some 800 feet of trenches. 

Archeological Explorations at Fort Raleigh 131 

It was considered not impossible that positive evidence of the 
village site might be encountered in one of these first trenches, 
either house remains themselves or ashes and refuse indicating 
the presence of nearby house remains. It was also reasoned that 
if the village lay in this general location and had been sur- 
rounded by a palisade, evidence of the palisade might be found 
in one of these radial trenches. However, no habitation 
remains and no evidence of a palisade were found in this first 
series of trenches. The only important find was the charcoal pit 
in the trench running southwest from the fort, which will be 
described in more detail later. This trench, and the one toward 
the shore, were extended into the fort, and additional sections 
of the fort ditch were found thereby. From the information se- 
cured on the fort during the first season's work, we were fairly 
certain that this was, beyond any reasonable doubt, the remains 
of Ralph Lane's fort. It was decided, therefore, that the orienta- 
tion of the fort, particularly the location of the entrance, might 
furnish a clue as to the location of the village. 

Trenches were then placed so that the maximum information 
concerning the plan of the fort could be obtained with a mini- 
mum of digging. Most of our hypotheses were sound, and critical 
points on the fort, as well as the entrance, were located by means 
of five additional test trenches. Location of the entrance sug- 
gested that the remaining time might best be spent in exploring 
thoroughly the area directly in front of the entrance, that is, to 
the west of the fort. This led to the excavating of several trenches 
in the area immediately west of the fort ruins, in which an area 
approximately 150 feet square was rather thoroughly explored. 
At the same time a series of trenches was extended straight 
west from the fort across the sand dune on which the log chapel 
stands. This series was excavated, not only to look for remains 
of the village, but to determine, if possible, the age of the sand 

When the work was resumed in 1948, exploratory trenching 
continued in the area outside the fort, but at a greater distance. 
With the excavation of some 2,300 feet of trenches the second 
season, all of the 16-acre government tract was explored, with 
the exception of the sand dune areas along the shore. In addition, 
one trench was run eastward from the fort nearly 500 feet. 

132 The North Carolina Historical Review 

In conjunction with this search for evidence of the settlement, 
additional excavating was carried on at the fort. During the first 
season, only enough work was done to determine the general 
nature of the fort. The work of the second season uncovered 
critical points along the fort ditch, sufficient to show the entire 
plan of the fort. No additional cross sections were made through 
the fort ditch, the trenches extending down only a foot or so in 
most instances. Nor was any more of the interior of the fort 
investigated during the second season. 

The Fort 

I know of only four specific references in the records indi- 
cating that a fort had been built by the Raleigh settlers on 
Roanoke Island. A fifth mentions plans to build a fort and 
houses. Ralph Lane sent a letter to Richard Hakluyt "From the 
New Fort in Virginia, this third of September, 1585." 6 This was 
little more than a month after the colonists landed on Roanoke 
Island. A second direct reference to a fort is found in Lane's 
account of a plot by the Indians to burn the settlement, of which 
he says that all the houses were to be set on fire, "and that as 
well for them at the fort, as for us at the towne." 7 Hariot, in 
writing about the sources of iron in the new territory, records 
that one was located "sixe score miles from the Fort or place 
where wee dwelt." 8 A fourth reference is contained in John 
White's description of the ruins found when he returned to 
Roanoke Island with a new band of settlers in 1587. The perti- 
nent sections of the account are as follows: "The three and 
twentieth of July the Governour with divers of his company, walk- 
ed to the North ende of the Island, where Master Ralfe Lane 
had his forte, with sundry necessary and decent dwelling houses, 
made by his men about it the yeere before. . . . When we came 
thither, we found the fort rased downe, but all the houses stand- 
ing unhurt, saving that the neather roomes of them, and also of 
the forte, were overgrowen with Melons. . . ." 9 

A fort is mentioned on another occasion in the testimony 
given to the Spanish at St. Augustine, Florida, in 1600 by Darby 

6 Richard Hakluyt, The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the 
English Nation (16 vols., Edinburgh, 1890; E. Goldsmid, ed.), XIII, 301. 

7 Hakluyt, Navigations, XIII, 316. 

8 Thomas Hariot, A Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia (facsmilie 
reproduction, William L. Clements Library, 1931), paragraph headed Iron, B3. 

Hakluyt, Navigations, XIII, 362-363. 

i • 

132 The North Carolina Historical Review 

In conjunction with this search for evidence of the settlement, 
additional excavating was carried on at the fort. During the first 
season, only enough work was done to determine the general 
nature of the fort. The work of the second season uncovered 
critical points along the fort ditch, sufficient to show the entire 
plan of the fort. No additional cross sections were made through 
the fort ditch, the trenches extending down only a foot or so in 
most instances. Nor was any more of the interior of the fort 
investigated during the second season. 

The Fort 

I know of only four specific references in the records indi- 
cating that a fort had been built by the Raleigh settlers on 
Roanoke Island. A fifth mentions plans to build a fort and 
houses. Ralph Lane sent a letter to Richard Hakluyt "From the 
New Fort in Virginia, this third of September, 1585." 6 This was 
little more than a month after the colonists landed on Roanoke 
Island. A second direct reference to a fort is found in Lane's 
account of a plot by the Indians to burn the settlement, of which 
he says that all the houses were to be set on fire, "and that as 
well for them at the fort, as for us at the towne." 7 Hariot, in 
writing about the sources of iron in the new territory, records 
that one was located "sixe score miles from the Fort or place 
where wee dwelt." 8 A fourth reference is contained in John 
White's description of the ruins found when he returned to 
Roanoke Island with a new band of settlers in 1587. The perti- 
nent sections of the account are as follows: "The three and 
twentieth of July the Governour with divers of his company, walk- 
ed to the North ende of the Island, where Master Ralfe Lane 
had his forte, with sundry necessary and decent dwelling houses, 
made by his men about it the yeere before. . . . When we came 
thither, we found the fort rased downe, but all the houses stand- 
ing unhurt, saving that the neather roomes of them, and also of 
the forte, were overgrowen with Melons. . . ." 9 

A fort is mentioned on another occasion in the testimony 
given to the Spanish at St. Augustine, Florida, in 1600 by Darby 

6 Richard Hakluyt, The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the 
English Nation (16 vols., Edinburgh, 1890; E. Goldsmid, ed.), XIII, 301. 

7 Hakluyt, Navigations, XIII, 316. 

8 Thomas Hariot, A Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia (facsmilie 
reproduction, William L. Clements Library, 1931), paragraph headed Iron, B3. 

n Hakluyt, Navigations, XIII, 362-363. 

-* & r A AT 


S o 

•:*- : :".-' Wind-blown sand deposit. 

(9) Approximate deprb of sand. 

nnnn nn 1947 Exploratory frenches. 

1948 Exploratory trenches. 

Y Position of object" of probable 
sixteenth century origin - 

Boundary of Fcrr Rale-igh Nahonot 

Historic 5i L e \G-acre track. 


SO loo 

Figure 1 
Map of Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, Roanoke Island, North Carolina, showing the location op the fort ruins and the exploratory trenches excavated in 

1947 and 1948. 

Archeological Explorations at Fort Raleigh 133 

Glande, one of the settlers of the 1585 enterprise. He is reported 
to have stated that as soon as the colonists landed "they began 
to make brick and fabric for a fort and houses." 10 Although there 
is no reason to question the evidence, it states only that the 
colonists began to make brick and does not furnish information 
as to the quantity of bricks made, nor that they were used in 
the actual construction of a fort and houses. There is also the 
possibility that the bricks were planned for structures within 
the fort rather than for fort construction proper. 

Although these references furnish indisputable evidence that a 
fort existed at the "Citie of Ralegh/' they are not specific con- 
cerning the location, size, or method of construction of that fort. 
It can be inferred from the account of the frustrated plot to set 
fire to the thatched roofs of buildings "at the fort, as for us at 
the towne," that in March, 1586, at least one building with a 
thatched roof stood within the fort. When the second group of 
settlers arrived in July, 1587, they found the fort "rased downe." 
This account states further that on the same day every man was 
ordered to repair the ruined houses and to build other "new Cot- 
tages, for such as should neede." 11 It is probably significant that 
no mention is made in this account of rebuilding the fort. From 
what we know now as to the probable construction of the fort — 
a small earthwork with ditches and earth embankment — the 
statement that the fort was "rased down" is not clear. It may 
have referred to a building, or buildings, originally standing 
within the fort, which other evidence would indicate had existed. 
It is also possible that this statement referred to a palisade, or 
to brick or timber construction in connection with the embank- 
ment of the fort. 

When John White's relief party finally returned in 1591 (new 
style), no mention is made of a fort. The record states that 
"we found the houses taken downe, and the place very strongly 
enclosed with a high palisado of great trees, with cortynes 
[curtains] and flankers very Fortlike." 12 This reference is some- 
what ambiguous, but it would seem to indicate that the entire 

10 General Archives of the Indies, Audienca of Santa Domingo — Letters of the Governors 
of Florida, 1568-1611, extract of a letter of Gonzalo Mendendez de Canco to Philip II, June 
28, 1600, Case 54, Drawer 5, file 9, Seville, Spain; translated by Katherine Reding and printed 
in the Georgia Historical Quarterly, VIII (1924). The name also appears as Glauin, Glaud, 
and Glavid. 

u Hakluyt, Navigations, XIII, 363. 

12 Hakluyt, Navigations, XIII, 383-384. 

134 The North Carolina Historical Review 

village, rather than just a small fort, was enclosed with a 

Nor do later maps and descriptions help us much in locating 
the fort and determining its original appearance. The first in- 
dication on a map of a fort in this vicinity is found on the 
Collet Map of 1770. 13 John Lawson, however, had mentioned 
visiting the ruin in 1709, 14 but it is not until Edward Bruce de- 
scribes his visit of 1860 that we have a description of the ruins. 15 

Then in 1895, two years after the Roanoke Colony Memorial 
Association was formed, Talcott Williams explored and described 
the ruins. This was the first time the site had been explored 
archeologically, but, unfortunately, Williams' notes and records 
are lost. According to his published report, he dug thirteen 
trenches at the fort, most of them three by five feet in size and 
from four to nine feet deep. 16 He states that these test trenches 
were excavated inside the fort and not in the embankment or 
ditch. It is of interest, in this connection, that of the previous 
excavation trenches encountered in the recent work, one was 
near the center of the fort, while several were squarely within 
the old ditch fill, which Williams failed to recognize. 

Williams reports finding a typical humus layer of six to eight 
inches, below which was a layer of "black, ashy earth, containing 
many fragments of charcoal and frequent fire pits. This layer 
rested directly on undisturbed sand, often penetrated by fire 
pits. . . . Toward the base of the black, ashy layer were found 
small pieces of iron, a corroded nail, a chipped piece of quartzite, 
and some small fragments of Indian pottery, networked. . . . For 
a site occupied at it was, the place proved singularly barren of 
debris." 17 Conditions somewhat similar to those described by 
Williams were noted in the recent excavations. His "fire pits" 
were undoubtedly the rotted and charred remains of tree roots, 
and his "small pieces of iron" were possibly the rusty appearing 
concretions found through the subsoil. These natural formations 
are commonly mistaken for iron. Williams' failure to observe 
the fort ditch when encountered is not surprising, since the soil 

13 A Compleat Map of North Carolina from an Actual Survey, by Captain Collett, Governor 
of Fort Johnston (London, 1770). 

14 John Lawson, A New Voyage to Carolina (London, 1709), 62. 

15 Edward C. Bruce, "Loungings in the Footprints of the Pioneers," Harper's New 
Monthly Magazine, XX (May, 1860), 721-736. 

16 Williams, Surroundings, 59. 

17 Williams, Surroundings, 59. 

Archeological Explorations at Fort Raleigh 135 

distinction is not always too obvious, and good archeological work 
can never be done in trenches as small as three by five feet. 

Williams mentions the digging done by some Federal soldiers 
stationed on Roanoke Island in 1863. 18 According to his report, 
they apparently dug some holes at the eastern side of the ruins 
but were stopped by the owner before any great damage was 
done. With the two exceptions noted above, there is no record of 
the site having been disturbed until the palisade and blockhouse 
were erected in 1936. 19 

It is too early to give a detailed description of the fort, but 
the evidence uncovered so far is of interest and is sufficient to 
show the original shape and appearance of the structure (see 
Figures 2, 4, and 5). It is anticipated that complete excavation 
of the ruins will reveal many other details of the fort's construc- 
tion and possibly remains of structures within the fort. The 
preliminary exploration, however, showed that the fort was a 
small earthwork with surrounding ditch. These excavations have 
also been of value in determining the best method of completing 
the excavations and in suggesting ways of treating the site for 
interpretive purposes. 

Sections through the fort ditch were obtained at five points. 
In addition, the ditch was located in plan at all critical points, 
permitting the entire plan to be projected, as shown in Figure 
2. The structure was basically a square with bastions on three 
sides and an entrance on the fourth. The clear space inside the 
parapet was not over sixty feet square. The sides of the fort were 
oriented approximately with the compass, the entrance facing 
almost due west. The two bastions facing the shore were tri- 
angular, while the third, facing inland, was "reniform" in shape, 
and noticeably unsymmetrical. Possibly a powder magazine or 
some other structure was located within this rounded bastion. 

The sides of the original ditch, and probably the parapet as 
well, had a relatively steep slope and would have eroded very 
rapidly. The fill in the bottom of the ditch was found to be rela- 
tively pure subsoil material with little or no topsoil ad mixture. 

w Williams, Surroundings, 58. 

19 Local residents informed me that grading for a highway a few years ago extended up to 
the fort ruins from the south, possibly disturbing the south bastion. There are surface indi- 
cations of a road a short distance to the west of this location. Apparently the grading 
operation was done in connection with relocating this eariler road which had served for many 
years as the main entrance to the Bite. 


The North Carolina Historical Review 

This would indicate that the light yellow sand, characteristic of 
the subsoil, had been thrown up last on the parapet, and was the 
first to be washed back into the ditch. This process of erosion 
must have started very soon after the fort was built, before 
any humus layer had developed in the bottom of the ditch or on 
the parapet. Contemporary instructions for building small earth- 
works called for sodding the faces of the parapet, but this would 
have been difficult to carry out at Fort Raleigh, because of the 
sandy soil of that locality. 

Figure 2 

Plan of the ditch of the fort ruins at Fort Raleigh National Historic 
Site, as revealed by archeological excavations. 

Archeological Explorations at Fort Raleigh 137 

After the ditch had partially filled in, there is evidence that 
further filling took place rather slowly. The fill in the upper 
layers is mixed with topsoil, and in places these darker humus 
deposits are roughly crescent-shaped, showing slow accumula- 
tion from leaf mould and other natural soil action. Eventually 
the parapet had washed down to within a foot or so of the origin- 
al ground, and the ditch had filled up correspondingly. This, 
roughly, was the condition of the ruins when observed by Bruce 
in 1860 and by Williams thirty-five years later. The condition of 
the ditch fill, showing slow accumulation from natural causes 
over a relatively long period of time, is strong evidence of the 
fort's antiquity. Civil War earthworks on Roanoke Island, al- 
though abandoned for over eighty years, show no such erosion. 

Of the few objects found in the excavations at the fort, none 
was in a position which would definitely associate it with the 
period of the fort's construction and use. Very little was found 
in the ditch fills, and all of it must have been deposited there 
after the fort came into disuse. Two large sherds of Indian 
pottery were found in the ditch fill, 1.0 feet and 2.2 feet, re- 
spectively, above the bottom of the ditch. This pottery might 
have been in the earth originally thrown up from the ditch and 
later washed back in again. Of European material, only two 
fragments were found at a depth which would suggest that they 
might have been deposited while the ditch was filling up from 
erosion of the parapet. One is a fragment of hand-made brick, 
found 2.5 feet above the bottom of the ditch; the other an un- 
identified piece of iron found 1.3 feet from the bottom. Only one 
dimension on the brick is available, the thickness, which is 2% 
inches. This happens to be the thickness of bricks required by 
English statute at the time of the Roanoke Island settlements. It 
must have found its way into the ditch fill at a fairly early date, 
and may very well have come from one of the settlement's struc- 
tures. The hand-wrought iron object is a thin, flat blade or strap, 
two inches wide. The portion found, apparently only part of the 
original, is seven inches in length. 

The only other objects encountered, except occasional sherds 
of Indian pottery and a few small nondescript iron fragments 
near the surface, were seven large, handwrought iron spikes 
found in the northeast bastion about four inches below the present 





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Archeological Explorations at Fort Raleigh 139 

surface. They were in a cluster as though deposited in a bundle. 
They are badly rusted, but appear to have been approximately 
seven and one-half inches long and one-half inch square just 
below the head, tapering uniformly to a flattened point. In brief, 
very little cultural material was found at the fort ruins, and 
none under conditions which would prove the ruins to be those 
of the Lane fort. 

The strongest evidence in favor of this ruin being Lane's fort 
of 1585 is its distinctive plan. Although I have referred to bas- 
tions in describing the remains, these may very well have not 
been true bastions with flanks. All we have to go on at present 
is the shape of the ditch. If the parapet followed the ditch outline 
exactly, then the fort was a modified star fort. In this case, the 
structure might be described as a star fort, formed on a square, 
having large angles on four sides with small angles between, and 
having the entrance at the point of one of the large angles. 

Even though star forts were constructed at the period of Fort 
Raleigh, they were not looked upon with favor by military engi- 
neers for the lacked the flanking defense afforded by the bas- 
tioned fort. As early as 1585, the formal bastioned fort had come 
into use, although the period of great systematization came some- 
what later, particularly with the work of Vauban and others of 
his day. The method of building bastioned forts must have been 
known to Lane, but it would appear that he favored forms de- 
rived from the star-fort design. One manual of that day, written 
by Paul Ive, and published in London in 1589, is very explicit as 
to materials, form, and use of forts. 20 The bastioned forms shown 
in Ive's handbook (Figure 3-b), which are recommended for 
small earthworks, are quite unlike the fort on Roanoke Island. 

Other works of that period gave similar instructions for con- 
structing small earthworks, and the term "sconse" or "skonse" 
was often employed for fortifications of this type. This recalls 
Lane's letter in which he proposed to build sconses at two-day 
march intervals along the route to the Chesapeake Bay region. 21 

20 Paul Ive, The Practise of Fortification (London, 1589). Several fortifications erected 
about this time are of particular interest for comparative purposes. Among them are Fort 
Caroline in Florida (1564); Grenville's fort in Puerto Rico (1585); Lane's fort in Puerto 
Rico (1585); Fort St. George in Maine (1607); and Jamestown, Virginia (1607). A contem- 
porary plan or description is available for each of these. 

21 Hakluyt, Navigations, XIII, 305-306. Lane wrote that at the head of the river [sound] 
he would raise "a sconse with a small trench, and a pallisado upon the top of it, in the which, 
and in the guard of my boates I would have left five and twentie, or thirtie men," and that 
similar sconses would be raised at intervals along the route. 


The North Carolina Historical Review 

Mixed earfh from 1935 
palisade construct ; on 


Scale in Fee+ 


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Light grey sand u/ith 
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Figure 4 

Typical cross sections through old fort ditch at Fort Raleigh National Historic 
Site, showing shape of original ditch and nature of ditch fill. 

Archeological Explorations at Fort Raleigh 141 

Lane's high regard for the defensive worth of the sconse, prop- 
erly located, is indicated in his letter to Secretary Walsingham, 
written while he lay at anchor off the coast opposite Roanoke 
Island. Referring to the advantages of a certain inlet, he states 
that this inlet, "if fortified by a sconse, could not be entered by 
the whole force of Spain." 22 

Of special interest in this respect is the fort built by Lane at 
St. John's Island (now Puerto Rico) on his way to Virginia, as 
recorded in one of White's drawings (Figures 3 a) . This fort — or 
perhaps Lane would have called it a sconse — was built as a tem- 
porary protection from the Spanish while the English colonists 
were gathering salt. 23 No scale is shown on White's sketch, but 
judging from the size of the people and a small boat, the fort was 
apparently similar in size to the earthwork on Roanoke Island. 
The distinctive thing about this St. John's fort was its plan — a 
square with bastions on the sides rather than at the corners. 

White shows one odd-shaped bastion in the Puerto Rico fort, 
with a sort of "arrow-head" plan. It is possible that this is the 
artist's conception of a leaf-shaped form, such as the southeast 
bastion of the Roanoke Island fort. Likewise, the entrances of 
both forts may have been more similar than White's drawing 
would indicate. 

Although the St. John's fort, as represented in White's sketch, 
has bastions of a sort, it is not a bastioned fort in the true sense, 
and basically is similar to the fort on Roanoke Island. The simi- 
larity of these two structures is the strongest evidence we have 
thus far for identifying the one on Roanoke Island as the fort 
built by Ralph Lane for the first Virginia colony. 24 

Post-settlement accounts of the site are not sufficiently detailed, 
or precise as to location, positively to identify the traditional site. 
A fort in this location first appears on the 1770 Collet map, which 
eliminates the possibility of its having been built during the 

22 Calendar of State Papers, Colonial Series, 157U-1660, 3. 

23 The official record of this episode is as follows: "The 26. day our Lieutenant Master 
Ralph Lane went in one of the Frigats which we had taken, to Roxo Bay upon the South- 
west side of Saint John, to fetch salt, being thither conducted by a Spanish Pilot: as soone 
as hee arrived there, hee landed with his men to the number of 20. and intrenched himself e up- 
on the sandes immediatly, compassing one of their salte hills within the trench." Hakluyt, 
Navigations, XIII, 295-296. White's sketch, however, shows what appears to be two salt hills. 

2i To Dr. Charles W. Porter should go the credit for first suggesting the comparison of 
these two forts built under the direction of Ralph Lane as possibly the surest way of 
identifying the ruins on Roanoke Island. He called attention to a general similarity between 
the two, suggested by comparison of the 1896 survey and the White sketch. (Porter, 
"Fort Raleigh," 29.) 

142 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Revolutionary War. There is no record of military activity in this 
vicinity prior to 1770, although there is evidence that a town, 
with fortifications to defend it, was planned for Roanoke Island 
early in the eighteenth century. 25 The location, apparently, was 
to have been approximately that of the present town of Manteo, 
but later maps and land records would indicate that the plan for 
building the town and fortifications was never carried out. 

Weighing all available evidence, therefore, it would seem that 
the case for the ruins at Fort Raleigh being those of the fort built 
by Lane in 1585, which tradition has staunchly maintained 
throughout the years, is too strong to longer doubt. 

One wonders why the fort was located some 500 feet inland, 
whereas the one at St. John's Island was built directly on the 
shore. The answer is quite obvious. The St. John's fort was built 
to protect the Englishmen from Spaniards, already on the island, 
while the salt hill was being looted and the salt loaded on their 
ship, anchored off shore. At Roanoke Island, on the other hand, 
the settlers were concerned with Spaniards who might approach 
from the water. Obviously, the fort was not constructed to pro- 
vide protection from the Indians. Even as undermanned as the 
settlement was, the English did not look upon the "savages" as 
worthy military antagonists. They certainly realized that an 
earthwork with a few cannon would be quite ineffective against 
an enemy that hid behind trees, shot fire brands into the thatched 
roofs of their houses, and attacked without warning in the night. 

There is evidence that the shore line has changed perceptibly 
during the past three centuries, although the shore directly op- 
posite the fort may have been in about the same position as at 
present. Apparently considerable erosion has taken place west- 
ward from the site. There is also evidence that the present cove, 
toward which the northeast bastion of the fort points, did not 
exist in its present form in earlier times. It is difficult to say 
just what the shape of the shore line was in 1585, but it seems 
likely that there was a slight indentation opposite the fort site. 
This would explain not only the indentation shown on White's 
map in this general vicinity, but also the orientation of the fort. 
Guns in the two pointed bastions would have controlled nearly 
half a mile of shore line opposite the fort. In this position the 

25 Porter, "Fort Raleigh," 40. 

Archeological Explorations at Fort Raleigh 143 

little earthwork could have dealt quite effectively with landing 
parties from Spanish ships. This important problem of the con- 
figuration of the shore line during the time of the settlement ob- 
viously calls for further research. 

From the archeological evidence thus far secured, some con- 
clusions can be drawn as to the original appearance of the fort. 
The ditch appears to have been about five feet deep and from ten 
to twelve feet across at the ground level. A hypothetical section 
through the ditch and parapet is shown in Figure 5. 

The excavating thus far has revealed no evidence of a stockade 
laid against the scarp (logs laid vertically against the fort side 
of the ditch) , which was sometimes done when soil conditions re- 
quired. Likewise, there may well have been a berm (level space 
between toe of parapet and top of ditch), in view of the sandy 
nature of the soil and the difficulty that would have been en- 
countered in adequately sodding the slopes. 

Excavations have thus far revealed none of the features found 
in more elaborate defensive works, such as a "covert way," 
"place of arms," or "palisade," in the area outside the ditch, and 
it is doubtful if such features would have been used in so simple 
a structure. Nor was there conclusive evidence of a "glacis" 
(slight elevation at top of outer edge of ditch), although this 
feature may well have been used. 

The excavating thus far has not been sufficient to determine 
any details concerning the original parapet. There was probably 
a "banquette" (firing step) along the inside of the parapet, as 
shown in Figure 5. The outer slope of the parapet, normally 
sodded on works of this sort, may have been faced with logs, but 
almost certainly brick or stone was not used. The number and 
location of embrasures for the guns will probably never be 
known, although further excavating inside the fort may reveal 
the location of timber gun platforms. 

The fort undoubtedly had some sort of feature for protecting 
the entrance ("ravelin"), although the one trench extending 
west from the entrance revealed no evidence of such a structure. 
It could well have been a simple breastwork, without ditch or 
palisade, in which case all remains would likely have disap- 


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Archeological Explorations at Fort Raleigh 145 

Within the fort there was at least one thatched building, as 
previously mentioned. This may have been a storehouse or quar- 
ters for the garrison. There would likely have been a powder 
magazine and a well, both of which should be found when further 
excavating is done. 

The Village 

Although some 4,000 lineal feet of exploratory trenches were 
excavated outside the fort, no physical remains of settlers' homes 
were found, nor was there encountered sufficient building or 
household refuse to indicate the proximity of a habitation area. 
The fact that no visible remains of houses were found is not 
surprising, even though the exploratory trenches may have 
crossed the settlement area. The buildings were certainly con- 
structed of impermanent materials and were probably built di- 
rectly on the ground. 26 In spite of the presence in the colony of 
brickmakers and masons and in spite of the Irishman Glande's 
testimony, it is doubtful if bricks were made and used in any of 
the houses at Fort Raleigh. Moreover, the Indians, who were in 
the region for at least a hundred years after the settlement was 
abandoned, would have carried away almost anything they might 
have found on the ground. 

Even though relatively little habitation refuse was found in 
any of the trenches, it is true that more was found immediately 
to the west of the fort. The trenches north, east, and south of the 
fort were completely sterile. In view of the available evidence, it 
is my opinion that the settlement lay to the west of the fort, pos- 
sibly within a distance of a few hundred feet. Further excavating 
in areas beyond those already explored may reveal definite evi- 
dence of house sites, but it is not impossible that the settlement 
stood within the area already explored. 

In excavating the five-foot-wide exploratory trenches, the earth 
was removed in layers, roughly two inches thick, until the yellow- 
brown subsoil was reached. Intrusions into this subsoil stratum, 
whether natural or man-made, are easily recognized. Only a 
very few features or disturbances of human origin were encoun- 
tered, and these, on the whole, appeared to be of no importance. 

26 Undoubtedly the buildings were timber-framed, with a timber sill resting on the ground. 
Possibly other crude materials were used, such as wattle, but it is almost certain that logs, 
laid horizontally, were not used by the early English colonists. 

146 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Some were clearly of recent origin, such as the filled post holes 
from the posts for the speaker's stand, erected for the August 
18, 1937, celebration at which Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke. Even 
so, every disturbance of the ground was accurately recorded for 
future reference. In addition, the location of trees, evidenced by 
darkened areas caused by decayed or burned roots, was recorded. 

Only one feature worth mentioning here was encountered. It 
was a rectangular pit, roughly three and a half by four and a half 
feet in size and four and a half feet deep, located about 100 feet 
west of the fort. The bottom two feet of the pit was a solid mass of 
charcoal, made from unsplit pine sticks, from one to four inches 
in diameter. Some showed ax marks where they had been cut, 
and none of the pieces appeared to be much longer than a foot. 
There was evidence of heat on the sides and bottom of the pit, 
but no ashes were found in the pit, suggesting that it had been 
used infrequently, possible no more than the one time. This is cer- 
tainly not the convential method of making charcoal, but we 
cannot assume that the first colonists in Virginia were always 
conventional. Even though this pit may not have served as an in- 
tentional means of making charcoal, it is quite apparent that it 
is very old and may well date from the period of the settlement. 
It stood for a considerable time, nearly filled, as shown by the 
relatively thick humus layer over the depression. No cultural 
material was found in the fill or among the charcoal, but it may 
be possible to date the feature by tree-ring study. Such a date 
would be highly important, for if it should be later than 1587, it 
would show that the colonists had not abandoned the site earlier 
than that date. Discovery of this charcoal reminds us of the fact 
that the first group of colonists had set up a portable iron 
"forge" in Puerto Rico in May, 1585, while en route to Roanoke 
Island, for making nails. 27 

In planning further excavations, as well as interpreting his- 
torical records and archeological finds, it would be advantageous 
to know as much as possible about the topography of the site at 
the time of the settlements. During the recent excavating some 
information was gained concerning soil conditions and topogra- 
phy changes, particularly the development of the sand dunes. 

27 Porter, "Fort Raleigh/' 27. 

Archeological Explorations at Fort Raleigh 147 

The original ground in this vicinity was relatively level, slop- 
ing from eight to ten feet above average high tide near the shore 
to about fourteen feet at the southeast corner of the sixteen-acre 
tract. The fort was not placed on a natural eminence, as might be 
suposed, although there was a low knoll 300 feet west of the fort. 
This knoll, in the vicinity of the present log chapel, may have 
been the cause for the later accumulation of wind-blown sand 
which formed the dune on which the chapel stands. The present 
topsoil layer averages six to eight inches in thickness and shows 
no evidence of having been plowed. In addition to the dune de- 
posits previously mentioned, there is a thin sand deposit over a 
great portion of the area. There are no large trees growing on 
these sand dunes, and no trees in the vicinity, for that matter, of 
any great antiquity. It is doubtful if any tree there is 200 years 

Archeological evidence showed quite conclusively that some, 
and probably all, of the dunes on the site had developed after the 
period of the settlement. A brass buckle, an iron nail, and some 
miscellaneous refuse, such as burned clam shells, were found on 
the old top soil below considerable sand dune deposit. The finds 
were made under closely observed conditions, and it was clear, in 
each instance, that the sand layer had not been disturbed since it 
was deposited. This evidence confirms the theory that the dunes 
along the shore in this vicinity, as well as the sand deposit of 
varying thickness over most of the site, were formed subsequent 
to the clearing of the land when the settlement was established. 28 
It also explains the apparent incongruity of a fort built behind 
the dunes when it obviously was intended to command the ap- 
proach of enemies from the water side. 

In addition to the objects found in the excavations at the fort 
ruins, relatively little European material was recovered. No 
single artifact found thus far is limited in provenience to the 
Elizabethan period, although most of the objects are not out of 
place there. It is unlikely, moreover, that any such object will 
ever be found, although there is always hope that a coin or some 
other datable artifact will come to light. 

28 It is possible, of course, that the colonists made use of land already cleared by the 

148 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Of the ceramic fragments found, one is a small piece of lead- 
glazed earthenware from the rim of a Spanish olive jar. As the 
colonists had traded for supplies in the Spanish West Indies 
while en route to Virginia in June, 1585, this discovery may be 
of prime significance. 29 A few small fragments of stoneware ap- 
peared, but they cannot be ascribed to a specific period. Two 
larger pieces of earthenware, however, appear to be very old and 
could well be from the settlement period. A portion of a brass 
buckle was found among a large group of Indian pottery sherds 
near the entrance to the fort. This buckle is not out of place at 
Fort Raleigh, but cannot be assigned exclusively to the Eliza- 
bethan period. The same is true of a second brass buckle frag- 
ment found in the westernmost trench, lying in the old topsoil 
below more than two feet of sand dune deposit. 

A brass f inial, said to have been found in the roots of an over- 
turned tree several years ago and now in the collection at Fort 
Raleigh, may very well date from 1585. A lead ball was found in 
a location that suggests it was not of recent origin. It was 16 mm. 
in diameter, which would be about .62 calibre, or 20 to the pound. 

As mentioned before, the interesting thing is the relative 
scarcity of cultural material or refuse of any sort. There were, of 
course, the usual bottle caps, but aside from these and occasional 
modern nails and tin cans, there was very little of recent origin. 
This would confirm the evidence, both traditional and documen- 
tary, that the site had not been built upon since the time of the 
Raleigh settlements until the recent activities of the Roanoke 
Island Historical Association. 

Aboriginal Inhabitants 

Sherds of Indian pottery were found in several of the trenches, 
but in no large quantity, except in one small area just outside the 
entrance to the fort. Study of this pottery suggests several inter- 
esting problems, particularly when it is compared with pottery 
from other Indian sites in this general region. Much more work 
will have to be done, however, both at Fort Raleigh and at other 
sites nearby, before the subject can be discussed intelligently. It 
is quite possible that information will be secured which will 
establish the cultural position of the local Indians contemporan- 

20 Porter, "Fort Raleigh," 27. 

Archeological Explorations at Fort Raleigh 149 

eous with the Raleigh settlement. Such studies should also show 
the sequence of Indian cultures in the region both before and 
after the short contact with Europeans at the close of the six- 
teenth century. Study of the Indian remains in the Roanoke 
Island region appears to be a most fertile field for answering 
important historical questions, among them the story of the Lost 
Colony. This would require surface surveys and excavations at 
selected sites which the surveys indicate are probably contem- 
poraneous with the English settlement. 


Briefly, the two seasons' explorations at Fort Raleigh National 
Historic Site have shown, beyond reasonable doubt, that the site 
is that of the Raleigh settlements on Roanoke Island. They have 
established the identity, type of construction, and plan of Ralph 
Lane's fort, built there in 1585. They failed to locate the site of 
the village, which was presumably in the general vicinity of the 
fort, but they did reveal certain conditions which strongly sug- 
gest that the settlement may have been located in the area im- 
mediately west of the fort. 

An important result of the excavating was in showing that a 
great deal of the original fort is left in the ground, and that 
careful investigation of these remains should provide fairly com- 
plete information as to its original appearance. 

By Elisha P. Douglass 

During his tumultuous, short, and tragic political career, 
Thomas Burke, the Revolutionary patriot and governor, showed 
a growing disillusionment with popular government that was 
typical of many Revolutionary leaders. 1 The accumulating dis- 
asters which struck North Carolina in the years 1779-1783 and 
his own growing feeling of bitterness and resentment toward his 
colleagues in the government led him to relinquish the greater 
part of his earlier democratic creed. Thus, himself the represen- 
tative of a frontier society, he ended his life with only contempt 
for the individualism of the backwoods. Although he drafted one 
of the first democratic pronunciamentos in American history — 
the Orange instructions to the county delegates at the Halifax 
Congress of 1776 — he advocated a hereditary aristocracy at the 
close of his political career. The pioneer theorist of state sover- 
eignty in 1777, he led the fight for centralized authority in the 
Continental Congress in 1780. Suspicious of executive power, he 
turned out to be an arbitrary state governor and did not hesitate 
to nullify the Assembly's legislation. Finally he was compelled to 
compromise even his personal honor by breaking his parole to the 
British army. 

None of these inconsistencies were due to lack of courage or 
conscious hypocrisy. Burke had to compromise his principles for 
two reasons: first, the disastrous course of the war in North 
Carolina made political consistency a dangerous virtue; second, 
Burke's inability to get along with people produced a disillusion- 
ment that eventually colored his whole outlook on life. It was 
Burke's tragedy that he died believing that his reputation had 

1 Although there is a tremendous amount of material bearing on Burke in The State Rec- 
ords of North Carolina and in E. C. Burnett (ed.) Letters of the Members of the Continental 
Congress, no full-length biography of him has been written. For short sketches see Diction- 
ary of American Biography; S. A. Ashe (ed.), Biographical History of North Carolina, II, 
27-32; J. G. DeRoulhac Hamilton, "Governor Thomas Burke," North Carolina Booklet, VI 
(1906-1907), 103-122; speech by Archibald Henderson in The Durham Herald-Sun, 
Oct. 22, 1944. The one special study on Burke is J. B. Sanders, "Thomas Burke in the 
Continental Congress," The North Carolina Historical Review, IX (1932), 22-37. Little if any 
use has been made of the interesting manuscript material on Burke at the North Carolina 
Department of Archives and History, Raleigh, or in the Southern Historical Collection at 
Chapel Hill. The present article is an attempt to bring together all the sources on Burke and 
to present him against the background of the sectional and class struggles of the Revolu- 
tionary period. 


Thomas Burke, Disillusioned Democrat 151 

been distroyed by his enemies and that his state did not remem- 
ber the tremendous sacrifices he made in her behalf. 

Of Burke's early life little or nothing is known. Born in Gal- 
way, Ireland, about 1747, he wrote later that his family had once 
been affluent but that "misfortunes reduced me to the alterna- 
tive of domestic indolent dependence or an enterprising peregri- 
nation, and I very early made choice of the latter, which I have 
no reason to repent of." 2 Probably Burke was brought up by his 
uncle, Sir Fielding Auld. The uncle sent him to a university, but 
the two apparently quarrelled and young Thomas set out for 
America. 3 Nearly all we know about his young manhood is con- 
tained in two letters, one to his uncle and the other to a "dear 
cozen," both in Ireland. 4 Burke must have felt keenly the stigma 
of ostracism, for he brags flagrantly about his tremendous 
achievements in America. Settled at Norfolk, he announced to his 
uncle that he was the intimate friend of all the great men there- 
abouts, "at the head of the literati of America. Esteemed the pat- 
tern of Taste and the Prince of Genius." 5 Then with obvious sat- 
isfaction over the surprise this must cause, Burke proceeds 
to document his boast. He includes an ode on the occasion of 
the repeal of the Stamp Act which he wrote only for his private 
enjoyment, but which was of course wrung from him by his num- 
erous admirers. He declares that it was immediately pronounced 
"a prodigy of Genius." But young Thomas makes it clear that the 
dizzy heights of fame have not altered his nature. He would 
never have mentioned the matter of the ode, he says, except that 
his motto was "Magis Amicus Veritas." His fondest ambition is 
still "Secura Quies et Naquid fallere Vita." 

The ode begins, 

Triumph America! Thy Patriot Voice 
Has made the greatest of mankind rejoice, 

2 To John Bloomfield, April 25, 1772, Burke Letter Books, North Carolina Department 
of Archives and History, Raleigh. Burke's family was apparently distinguished. A relative 
compiled a lengthy genealogy which he delivered to Thomas Burke in a letter of Dec. 2, 
1769. State Records of North Carolina, XV. 676-679. (Hereafter cited as S. R.) 

3 Referring to Auld, Burke comments, "Him I had the honor of stiling a near relation, but 
I am not very vain thereof nor desirous that he should so regard me." To Bloomfield, Apr. 
25, 1772, Burke Letter Books. Auld is almost undoubtedly the uncle referred to in an undated 
letter of Burke's which begins: "I have held a long struggle between Indignation and 
Natural Affections. The latter has at length prevailed." He then goes on to inquire about 
his relations, describing himself as "without a crime nor prone to any vice, almost free of the 
levity of Persons of Age, abandoned, persecuted, denied even justice . . . ." S. R., XIX, 921. 

* "Dear cozen" was a Mrs. Jones with whom Burke was apparently in love before his 
departure and his subsequent marriage. She was the only one of all his friends "who have 
ever given me to know that I had any place in their memory." Letter of Dec. 29, 1772, 
Burke Letter Books. The Letter to Mrs. Jones is in S. R., XIX, 917-920. 

6 S. R., XIX, 922. 

152 The North Carolina Historical Review 

He goes on to apostrophize Pitt and Meredith and ends with a 
stern injunction to "the ladies:" 

And you ye fair, on whom our hopes depend 
On future Fame and Empire to Extend, 
Whose fruitful beds shall dauntless Myriads yield 
To Fight for Freedom in some Future Field, 
Resign each dear. 6 

Burke turned out a considerable number of like productions. 
None entitle him to much praise, but after the first enthusiasm 
was spent he was able to regard the ladies in a less functional 
manner. Much of his verse consisted of love lyrics, and from the 
variety of names that appear he was apparently a very enthusi- 
astic but fickle swain. 7 

Burke was more explicit but scarcely less conceited about the 
progress of his career in his letter to his "cozen," Mrs. Jones. On 
arrival in Virginia he studied medicine. "My success was very 
great, and my opinion even by the most experienced was relied 
on," he declared. But finding that law was more profitable, he 
studied "for a few months," took an examination to practice, and 
passed "with very great applause." His practice, as might be 
expected from his account, was soon immense. 8 

Stripped of youthful braggadocio these two letters show Burke 
as an ambitious, energetic, uninhibited, brash young man of real 
ability. But their tone betrays those very weaknesses which did 
so much to darken his later life. His resentment against his 
uncle, although perhaps justified, is an example of a quickness to 
take offense which made him many enemies. His conceit was 
never entirely conquered but reappeared in the form of an exag- 
gerated self-deprecation which he often employed in a rather 
obvious effort to call forth assurances of his superiority. His 
ambition turned into an agressive self-confidence which secured 
his position as a natural leader but also made him stubborn. 

In religion Burke was an avowed deist, although probably 
born a Catholic. He condemned bigotry and religious "enthusi- 
asm" and showed supreme contempt for clergymen. He gives a 

6 S. R., XIX, 922-924. 

7 See Burke Papers in N. C. Department of Archives and History, Raleigh, and Southern 
Historical Collection, Chapel Hill. 
*9. R., XIX, 918, 919. 

Thomas Burke, Disillusioned Democrat 153 

rather unflattering picture of them in a satirical poem describing 
the feelings of a sow seeing her offspring about to be slaughtered 
for Thanksgiving dinner: 

Doomed to behold her slaughtered offspring bleed, 
That priests may glut, and glutted priestlings feed ; 
That saints and saintlings sate their ravening maws, 
And blend their ethic with the christian laws. 

In a footnote he declares he is not against religion itself, but 
considers himself "a citizen of the world." Admitting that there 
might be true saints, he explains that his antipathy extends only 
to those who are "enthusiastic." 9 This attitude, typical of the 
eighteenth-century deist, suggests Voltaire. Although most of 
Burke's antipathy was directed against New England puritan- 
ism, his expression of it was so broad as to include all organized 
religion. In all his writings there is no evidence that he ever con- 
sidered himself a Catholic or that he ever attended Mass. 

Burke's temperament, past experiences, and associations all 
combined to produce the radical. He was one of that group of 
natural revolutionaries who had left England in their youth 
after more or less unhappy experiences and had come to America 
to make their fortunes — men like Tom Paine and James Iredell. 
Declaring himself "a passionate lover of liberty and a Hater of 
Tyranny" at the time of the Stamp Act, Burke defined liberty 
as "being governed by laws made with the Constitutional con- 
sent of the community, ultimately judged by that community and 
enjoying and disposing their property only agreeable to Will. . . . 10 
Looking back on his youth after his retirement, he explained: 
"The rights of Mankind became known to me and I was early 
impressed with their importance. Policy seemed to me what in- 
volved so much human misery or happiness, and my love of 
humankind prompted me to examine its principles and to acquire 
clear ideas concerning it. My zeal was a passion for the liberty 
of mankind. I could not stand aloof from the struggle." n 

Having taken his stand, Burke "commenced politician." But 
the results of his activities do not appear on the records for sev- 

9 Burke MSS., Southern Hist. Coll., Chapel Hill. An Irish friend, Dr. Fallon, wrote to Burke 
later in life, "You are a philosopher, more merciful than religious." S. R., XIV, 50. 

10 S. R., XIX, 922. In a second letter to his "cozen" Burke declares himself not English hut 
American, "sharing the general love of liberty of the country." Undated letter, Burke MSS., 
Southern Hist. Coll. 

11 Letter of July 6, 1782, Burke Letter Books. 

154 The North Carolina Historical Review 

eral years. He apparently practiced both medicine and law at 
Norfolk and ran a profitable business on the side collecting bills 
for merchants. His letter books show that he corresponded regu- 
larly with some of the outstanding lawyers and whigs of Vir- 
ginia — Jefferson, Pendleton, Nicholas, and Wythe. 12 

In 1772 Burke moved from Norfolk to Orange County, North 
Carolina, following the example of a host of Virginians who 
saw new opportunities in a fertile, relatively unsettled country. 13 
He laid out a plantation near Hillsborough but apparently spent 
most of his time in a law practice which grew steadily more 
prosperous. 14 One of his most important clients was the Scottish 
merchant, Andrew Miller of Hillsborough, who subsequently 
became a loyalist. 15 

Burke's political ambitions were first realized in 1775 when he 
was elected to the second Provincial Congress. 16 From that 
time forward he indeed "commenced politician." Reelected to the 
subsequent congresses at Hillsborough and Halifax, he grew 
steadily in importance as a whig politician, to judge from the 
increasingly important committee work for which he was chosen. 

When the Congress met at Halifax, April 4, 1776, independ- 
ence was in the air. Governor Martin had fled to a British war 
vessel. The whigs had already fought and won the battle of 
Moore's Creek. To men like Burke, Caswell, Harnett, and Person, 
independence seemed logical and inevitable. But others held 
back. Maurice Moore in a clandestine letter to Martin had stated 
that all North Carolina desired was the status of the years before 
1763. 17 Joseph Hewes viewed independence with reluctance. 18 
Samuel Johnston, the colony's leading conservative, also had 

12 See entries in Burke Letter Books for year 1769. 

13 Burke's main reason for leaving Norfolk was apparently his desire to find a more 
healthful climate. He picked the region around Hillsborough because "the lands are fertile, 
the water good and the climate remarkably moderate and healthy." Letter of Dec. 29, 1772, 
Burke Letter Books. The extent of the immigration into Orange can be judged from a letter 
in the South Carolina and American General Gazette, March 11, 1768: "There is scarce any 
history either ancient or modern, which affords an account of such a rapid increase of in- 
habitants in a back frontier country as that of North Carolina .... Twenty years ago there 
were not 20 taxable people within the limits of the county of Orange, in which there are now 
4,000 taxable." 

14 "I follow my business more extensively than before," he wrote back to a friend in 
Norfolk. Letter of Dec. 29, 1772, Burke Letter Books. 

15 For Burke's relations with Miller see S. R., IX, 356, 826, 1004. Miller, a close friend 
of Gorvenor Martin, tried to gain Burke's support in the effort to have the sinecure position 
of clerk of the pleas abolished and the extensive patronage it carried transferred to the 
governor. But Burke insisted that only the legislature could alter the judicial system. Letter 
to Miller, April 14, 1774, Burke Letter Books. 

"Hamilton, Thomas Burke, 105. 

17 Colonial Records of North Carolina, X, 396. (Hereafter cited as C. R.) Also printed in 
S. R., XI, 269. 

18 S. R., XI, 288. 

Thomas Burke, Disillusioned Democrat 155 

fears. On April 4 he wrote Hewes in Philadelphia that no move 
toward independence should be made before foreign alliances 
were secured. 19 These men were staunch whigs and they were 
willing to carry resistance even to the point of arms, but in- 
dependence, with all its consequences, was for them a step to be 
taken only with the greatest caution. 

But they could not hold back the radicals. On April 8 a com- 
mittee of seven, including Burke, Person, and Harnett, was 
chosen "to take into consideration the usurpation and violences" 
of Great Britain. 20 Four days later the committee brought forth 
a report recommending that the congressional delegates be em- 
powered to vote for independence. It was carried unanimously. 

With the colony committed to independence it was necessary 
to draft a plan of government. A committee including Burke, 
Person, Johnston, Harnett, Nash, and later Hooper was appoint- 
ed to draft a "temporary" constitution. But immediately a split 
occurred between the conservatives and radicals. In the other 
colonies there had been bitter debate over the subject of inde- 
pendence. Men like Jay and Duane of New York, Galloway and 
Dickinson of Pennsylvania, and Rutledge of South Carolina in- 
stinctively opposed independence because they feared that vio- 
lence might lead to social upheaval. 21 When they recognized their 
inability to stem the tide they then turned their efforts to mould- 
ing the new state constitutions in such a way that the former 
arisocratic control of government would "be maintained. In this 
they were nearly everywhere successful mainly because they 
were able to bring a large majority of the radicals over to their 
point of view. This was not difficult because most of the radicals 
— at least in the South — were fellow aristocrats with the con- 
servatives. When Tom Paine's Common Sense appeared with its 
identification of liberty and democracy, the two groups found 
they had much more in common than they expected. Both opposed 
any levelling movement. 

The action of John Adams is a case in point. Completely un- 
compromising in his devotion to independence, he should have 
danced for joy at the appearance of Common Sense. Instead he 
had only a few words of commendation for Paine' s treatment of 

19 Hayes Collection, N. C. Department of Archives and History, Raleigh. 

20 C. R., X, 504. 

21 See Merrill Jensen, The Articles of Confederation, 13, 14. 

156 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the "Royal brute" and confined himself to bitter denunciation of 
Paine' s plan of government with its unicameral legislature and 
universal suffrage. 22 To prevent the spread of the poison of 
democracy he wrote his famous pamphlet, Thoughts on Govern- 
ment, which was to have such an important effect on the consti- 
tutions of North Carolina and Virginia. In effect Adams recom- 
mended reproducing the colonial governments, but with one 
change: the legislature and not the governor was to hold the 
balance of power. Large property owners, represented in an 
upper house, were to have a veto on all legislation by the people's 
representatives in a lower house. The governor as general arbiter 
was to have a second veto. The plan was designed primarily to 
maintain the existing social and political status quo. 

Both Paine's and Adams's pamphlets had arrived in North Ca- 
rolina by theh time the Halifax convention met in April, 1776. 
Hewes and Hooper, North Carolina delegates to Congress in 
Philadelphia, had recognized the danger of Common Sense when 
it appeared and had decided not to send copies home. But "find- 
ing brother [John] Penn had a fondness" for Paine they reluct- 
antly forwarded a few. 23 Penn and Hooper had solicited and re- 
ceived copies of Thoughts on Government from Adams. 24 

But there was another situation besides conflicting theories 
of government that might be expected to cause dissension at 
Halifax. Two members of the drafting committee, Burke and 
Person, represented frontier communities that had been the 
heart of the Regulator movement. The others on the committee 
were tidewater aristocrats. The battle of Alamance had by no 
means written an end to the Regulators. Sheriffs and tax col- 
lectors were still occasionally beaten up after 1771. Maurice 
Moore and Abner Nash on a secret visit in 1772 to James Hunter, 
the outlawed Regulator leader, urged him to use his influence to 
calm the country. But they failed. "I think they are more afraid 
than ever," Hunter wrote grimly to two other Regulator leaders 
exiled in Maryland, William Butler and Hermon Husband. 25 
Johnston hesitated to call a Provincial congress in the summer 

22 Dubbing Paine a "disastrous meteor," he commented: "I dreaded the effect so popular a 
pamphlet might have among the people and determined to do all in my power to counteract 
the effect of it." C. F. Adams (ed.), The Works of John Adams, II, 507. 

23 Hewes to Johnston, Feb. 20, 1776, N. C. Letters from the Emmett Collection, N. Y. 
Public Library. Copies in N. C. Department of Archives and History. 

24 Warren- Adams Letters, I, 230. 

25 Hunter to Butler Nov. 6, 1772, Regulator Papers, Southern Hist. Coll. 

Thomas Burke, Disillusioned Democrat 157 

of 1775 because he had heard a rumor that Hunter was planning 
to march with 1000 men on any meeting. 26 The danger was ap- 
parently ended, however, after Johnston personally had a meet- 
ing with some of the former Regulators and was assured that 
they would not be hostile. 27 This turned out to be the case. There 
were relatively few Regulators in the battle of Moore's Creek. 

Nevertheless, the Regulator demands for salaried judges, 
lower court fees, religious freedom, and an end to the domina- 
tion of the assembly by lawyers and tidewater aristocrats had 
never been met. It may be assumed that when it came to writing 
a constitution, Thomas Burke, representative for Orange, a self- 
made man and an outstanding radical, and Thomas Person, a 
former Regulator and representative of Granville, would clash 
with Johnston, Harnett, and Allen Jones, all of the tidewater. 

And clash they did. "We are going to the devil without know- 
ing how to help ourselves, ,, wrote Johnston to Iredell from the 
Halifax Congress. 28 The conflict was between those who favored 
a representative government which would be immediately re- 
sponsive to the people's will and those who favored checks and 
balances that would maintain the status quo. The radicals pushed 
through a resolution "to establish a purely democratic form of 
government" and drafted an instrument to implement it. 29 Burke 
was one of the authors of the original democratic draft. "Nash 
and Burke are framing a Constitution for this colony to preserve 
it from total anarchy," wrote Hooper to Hewes on April 17. 
"They differ very materially in their ideas from Mr. Johnston, 
Penn, or myself." 30 Hooper then went on to voice his doubts as 
to whether it was wise even to attempt to draft a constitution at 
that crucial time, an idea that Johnston had previously put forth. 
But this was undoubtedly only an expedient whereby the conserva- 
tives could kill Burke's and Nash's draft by having the whole 
project of a constitution dropped. 31 Their view prevailed. 
The committee was discharged and a new committee was 

26 Johnston to Iredell Aug. 14, 1775, Chas. E. Johnston Coll., N. C. Dept. of Archives and 
History. See also Johnston to Hewes June 27, 1775, Hayes Coll. 

27 Details of the meeting are in a badly mutilated manuscript in Johnston's handwriting 
dated 1775, Chas. E. Johnston Collection. 

28 April 4, 1776, Hayes Coll. 

29 See letters from Johnston to Iredell in G. J. McRee, James Iredell, I, 276, 277. Also 
J. S. Jones, A Defense of the Revolutionary History of North Carolina, 278. 

30 Hooper to Hewes, Apr. 17, Hayes Collection. 

31 See Jones, Defense, 281, 

158 The North Carolina Historical Review 

formed to draft "a temporary form of government." 32 It drew 
up a plan continuing the existing temporary executive system 
with a few changes in favor of efficiency. Both Burke and Nash 
were on this committee. Person and Johnston were dropped, pos- 
sibly because they were irreconcilable. 

During the summer interest in the plan for a constitution 
heightened and the split between factions became wider. The 
Council of Safety, as a gesture to strict constitutional procedure, 
recommended to the people that they "pay the greatest attention 
to the election for the Congress to be held at Halifax in November 
1776," because the delegates would not only be legislators but 
would write a permanent constitution. 

Meanwhile the North Carolina delegates to Congress — Hooper, 
Hewes, and Penn — were observing Pennsylvania form her con- 
stitution. The process was not reassuring. Because of unique con- 
ditions within the state political power had passed from an ultra- 
conservative to an ultra-radical group. The latter, under the 
leadership of James Cannon, a mathematics teacher, Timothy 
Matlack, a lower-class agitator, and the astronomer David Hit- 
tenhouse, had imposed a constitution on the state that was prob- 
ably as democratic as any of the forty-eight states has ever had. 
Its central feature was the unicameral legislature. Naturally 
this constitution was the execration of nearly all Whigs. By their 
reaction to it they showed their basic conservative leanings. 
Hooper was one of the most outspoken of these. "You have seen 
the constitution of Pennsylvania," he wrote to Johnston in Sep- 
tember, — "the motley mixture of limited monarchy and an exe- 
crable democracy — a beast without a head. The mob made a 
second branch of the legislature. Laws subjected to their revisal 
in order to refine them. A washing in ordure by way of purifica- 
tion. Taverns and dram shops are the councils to which the laws 
of this state are referred for approbation before they possess a 
binding influence." Then, summing up his own philosophy, he 
said, "Were I to choose a motto for a modern Whig — it should 
be — 'Whatever is, is right/ " 33 

82 C. R., X, 552. 

33 C. R., X, 819, 820. The "washing in ordure" to which Hooper referred was the pro- 
vision in the Pennsylvania constitution that all legislation after passage must be published to 
the people at large before it could become law. 

Thomas Burke, Disillusioned Democrat 159 

In a later letter addressed to the Halifax Congress, October 26, 
he detailed his recommendations for a constitution. Declaring 
the British constitution to be the nearest thing to political per- 
fection in an imperfect world, he warned against violent change. 
Stick to the accepted traditions, he advised. Above all observe 
the principle of balance of power. Provide for a two-house legis- 
lature where property, "which gives independence and imparti- 
ality to the human mind," can check the excesses of the people. 
Hooper then recommended the new constitutions of Delaware, 
South Carolina, and New Jersey as examples to follow. 34 These 
were all instruments drafted quickly by aristocratically con- 
trolled legislatures and combined bicameralism, relatively high 
suffrage qualifications, and very high property qualifications for 
office. They were of course never submitted to popular ratifica- 

Hooper's ideas are probably a good representation of the con- 
servative point of view. The best example of the radicals' ideas 
are the Orange County instructions to the convention delegates 
drafted by Burke. The mere fact that instructions were given is 
in itself significant. Although the practice had been strictly fol- 
lowed in the New England colonies and in Pennsylvania since 
earliest colonial times, there are few, if any, instances of it in 
North Carolina. Here assemblymen, after election, were free 
agents. This was one of the loudest complaints of Hermon Hus- 
band, Burke's sometime predecessor from Orange. Husband tried 
to point out to the exploited people of the piedmont that it was 
no use petitioning for redress of grievances. They should control 
their representatives and force recognition of their claims. This 
was the point of his bitterly satirical "Sermon to Asses." 35 Over 
the years Husband's message must have taken effect, for the 
Orange instructions reflect the determination of the people to 
make their representatives realize that they were the people's 
servants. The first section of the instructions was thus devoted to 
making the relationship of people and government crystal clear. 

34 C. R., X, 866-869. Hooper wrote in the same vein to Johnston the next day. "The Penn- 
sylvania constitution," he declared significantly, "has made more tories than the whole 
treasury of Britain." Hayes Collection. He held high hopes that it would be repudiated by the 
people of Pennsylvania. When efforts of the conservatives there failed, he was gloomy. "If 
Matlack's system prevails, farewell to this country," he wrote Hewes on November 1. 
Hayes Collection. 

85 W. K. Boyd (ed.), Some Eighteenth Century Tracts concerning North Carolina, 325-331. 
See also, "Address to the Inhabitants," Boyd, Eighteenth Century Tracts, 301-304. 

160 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The specific demands were not so radical as one might expect — a 
bicameral legislature, freedom of religion, and ratification of 
the completed instrument by the people. Suffrage qualifications 
were limited to freehold for the upper house, household for the 
lower house. Nothing was said of property qualifications for 
office. 36 

If Burke did not dictate these instructions, it may safely be 
said that they conformed to his opinions. The only known copy 
was in his own handwriting. 37 From the evidence available it 
appears that he was the nominee of the radical group in Orange. 
This election, like many others throughout the state, was ex- 
tremely disorderly. Because of the commotion the polls were 
closed at sundown of the first day, whereas usually two days 
were allowed for voting. A group under the leadership of John 
Butler — brother of William Butler, the escaped Regulator — peti- 
tioned the Congress later for a new election. The committee 
appointed to investigate recommended rejection of the request. 38 
The Congress agreed, but a few days later rescinded its resolve 
and called a new election, with householders as well as freehold- 
ers voting. The county returned nearly a whole new slate, in- 
cluding Burke and Butler. 39 

Burke's arrival was probably welcome to the Congress, for he 
was immediately assigned to important committees. 40 But he was 
not a member of the committee which drafted the constitution and 
bill of rights. The instruments were passed on December 18, two 
days after his arrival. 41 Nevertheless he must have been in at- 
tendance on the Congress for a considerable time previously, for 
some of his contemporaries bear witness to his influence. Samuel 
Johnston, taking a dim view of the new state legislature in a 
letter to Burke June 26, 1777, speaks of the constitution as "your 
plan." 42 A county was named in Burke's honor, apparently be- 
cause of his efforts in the Congress. 43 

36 C. R., X, 870f-870h. 

37 This copy was apparently destroyed or lost after publication of The Colonial Records. 
There is no trace of it in Burke's personal papers. It may have been included in the Legis- 
lative Papers, N. C. Departmeint of Archives and History. All of these records for 1776 
have been lost. C. R., X, 870f. 

38 C. R., X, 932, 933. 
8 »C. R., X, 970. 

40 C. R., X, 973. 

41 C. R., X, 974. 

42 S. R., XI, 504. 

43 Abner Nash wrote on April 19: "Our Assembly have paid a compliment to our worthy 
Delegate Dr. Burke, which no private man has experienced before. A new county taken 
from Surry is called after him." S. R., XI, 453. 

Thomas Burke, Disillusioned Democrat 161 

Yet the constitution was not the work of any one man. It bears 
all the marks of compromise, even though most of the con- 
cessions came from the radicals. 44 In the words of Dr. R. D. W. 
Connor, who has made the best summary of its formation and 
given the fairest judgment of it, "... the government established 
by the Constitution of 1776 was a representative democracy in 
form, but in form only." 45 

Perhaps Burke was disappointed in the constitution. He should 
have been, for the final instrument certainly did not correspond 
to the government his instructions called for. The suffrage 
qualification for the upper house was higher, there were property 
qualifications for office, and the instrument was never sub- 
mitted for popular ratification. The constitution was designed 
by the members of the colonial aristocracy to solidify them in 
the enjoyment of the sovereignty they had wrested from Great 
Britain, to protect large aggregations of property from "level- 
ling' ' movements, and in general to maintain the social status 
quo. Nevertheless the politically unprivileged had made a sig- 
nificant gain. The constitution declared in the language of the 
Orange instructions that all governmental power was derived 
from the people as a whole and that political rulers were servants 
of the people. 

This principle was to be honored more in the breach than in 
the observance for many years to come. The people reigned, but 
they did not rule. But the mere fact that the principle had general 
acceptance meant that the days of aristocratic control of govern- 
ment were numbered. 

There are indications that Burke rationalized the shortcom- 
ings of the constitution on the grounds that it was temporary 
and that a new instrument could be drafted in an atmosphere 
of calm and reflection after the war. 46 If so the rationalization 
suggests that Burke was losing conviction in the ideals expressed 
by the Orange instructions. In 1777 he would probably not have 
been aware of it himself, but the coming years which were to bring 

44 "The Constitution was not the work of any one man or group of men, though tradition 
and an occasional reference in contemporary documents attribute a few features to certain 
individuals." History of North Carolina, I (by R. D. W. Connor), 415. 

45 History of North Carolina, I, 417. 

46 "I am perfectly of your opinion," wrote Johnston to Burke, April 19, 1777, "that the only 
object of importance at present is the defense of our country. Until that is effectually secured, 
leagues, Confederacies, and Constitutions are premature, except as temporary expedients." 
S. R., XI, 453, 454. 

162 The North Carolina Historical Review 

with them bitter political quarrels and personal animosities in 
the Continental Congress, anarchy and carnage 'in the state dur- 
ing his governorship, and a growing sense of frustration and 
persecution, were to turn him into a hopeless reactionary. 

Burke was elected to the Continental Congress at the Hali- 
fax meeting. He arrived in Philadelphia on February 4 and was 
immediately precipitated into many vexing problems affecting 
the states. All were connected with the pressing question — what 
was the status of Congress? What powers did it have? What 
powers should it have? It was evident that Congress was not a 
sovereign body, in spite of efforts of some conservatives to give 
it sovereign power. But the line between state powers and con- 
gressional power had never been clearly defined. Burke was the 
first to provide a fully formulated distinction. It was simple and 
unequivocal. All sovereignty lay in the states. Congress neither 
had nor should have any powers over the states. Congress was 
only a meeting of diplomatic representatives to provide for 
temporary exigencies, such as common defense in war. 

In a sense this view of the relations between the states and 
Congress was concomitant with Burke's democracy. Merrill Jen- 
sen has pointed out that most of the violent whigs in the years 
before the Revolution were inclined to have liberal views on 
formation of state constitutions and to suspect any central- 
izing movements that infringed on state sovereignty. 47 There 
were several reasons for this. In the first place, any centraliza- 
tion of power suggested the British empire. Although the Revo- 
lutionary patriots to a large extent reproduced the British gov- 
ernment inside the states by creating omnipotent, aristocratical- 
ly controlled legislatures resting on limited suffrage and un- 
equal representation, nevertheless they completely repudiated all 
methods of imperial control. Political theory and historical ex- 
perience seemed to prove conclusively that any centralization 
of power inevitably became tyranny. Machiavelli and Bodin 
had discovered that the essential qualification of a state was 
sovereignty. Hobbes had proved deductively that the sovereign 
state must, by definition, be a despotism. To the colonists, eight- 

47 Jensen, Articles of Confederation, 15, 16. This theory has value but is severly qualified 
by numerous individual exceptions to the rule. For instance, William Hooper, John Adams, 
James Wilson, Robert C. Nicholas, and Alexander Hamilton were all leading whigs, yet all 
were conservative as regards theory of government. Instances could be multiplied. 

Thomas Burke, Disillusioned Democrat 163 

eenth century England, although technically a limited monarchy, 
was actually a despotism under the heel of a corporate body no 
less tyrannical than a single dictator. 

Most of the members of the Continental Congress were well 
versed in history and philosophy, and they had had bitter experi- 
ence with the British conception of empire. Hence it is easy to 
see why they were so fearful of giving powers to Congress that 
might approach sovereignty. Of what use to fight the British if 
they with their own hands created a new tyranny just as vicious? 
A federal state with a sovereignty of divided powers was a new, 
untried conception. Experience and history seemed to prove that 
it must inevitably resolve into a tyrannous national state. In 
the words of Burke, "power breeds power." 

Hence it was entirely consistent in Burke, and a proof of his 
democratic ideas, that he immediately opposed any move to give 
effective powers to Congress. With almost pathological intensity 
he examined even the most routine questions under consideration 
to ferret out any qualification of state sovereignity. Thus on 
February 7, 1777, three days after his arrival, he spoke strongly 
against a resolution which would fix the size of state delegations. 
The purpose was to increase the membership of the delegations, 
thereby insuring quorums at the sessions and rendering the duties 
of individual members less arduous. 48 But Burke objected. "This 
is a matter each state has an exclusive right to judge of," he as- 
serted. 49 The measure was defeated. A few days later in the mat- 
ter of Congressional approval for an impromptu meeting of the 
New England states he declared himself even more positively. The 
states had come together without notification to Congress to 
discuss methods of combating inflation. Was this an invasion of 
the realm of Congressional authority? The consensus of opinion 
was that Congress had a right to inquire into the causes of such 
meetings and to be informed on proceedings. And since everyone 
was in favor of combating inflation it was thought that a pro- 
gram might be started and Congressional authority asserted at 
the same time by a resolution to approve the New England 
meeting. At this Burke was on his feet. Referring to North 
Carolina's right to join in any meeting or combination she 

48 For a description of the tremendous load of work on Congressmen, see John C. Miller, 
Triumph of Freedom, 433-435. 
* 9 E. C. Burnett (ed), Letters of Members of the Continental Congress, II, 239. 

164 The North Carolina Historical Review 

pleased, he declared the state "could do everything which she 
had not precluded herself from by plain and express declaration : 
to yield up any of her rights was not in his power and very far 
from his inclinations. . . ." 50 And then he asserted for his own 
state the power contended for by Congress in terms which show- 
ed unmistakably his convictions on state sovereignty. North 
Carolina, "by the Law of Nations had a right to demand a satis- 
factory account of any transaction by one or more of our states," 
he declared. The question was finally settled by a resolution 
which approved the measures of the New England meeting but 
did not refer to any power of Congress to approve or disapprove 
of such meetings. 51 

In two military matters that came up in this period Burke 
sensed danger to state sovereignty. The question had long been 
debated as to whether general officers should be named by Wash- 
ington or appointed by Congress. Many members, foreseeing the 
danger of military dictatorship, strenuously urged that the power 
of appointment be kept by Congress. 52 Burke, as a good demo- 
crat, was ever on guard against increasing the power of the 
military, but congressional appointment of officers over the 
North Carolina line in the Continental army was incompatible 
with state sovereignty. Thus he was in a deliemma. But he extri- 
cated himself neatly by proposing and carrying a resolution that 
officers be secured by promotion, the criteria to be seniority, 
quota, and merit. 53 Appointments were to be signed by Congress, 
but in theory candidates were to be qualified for positions auto- 
matically. The element of "choice" by Congress was minimized. 

A second military question which involved state sovereignty 
arose. Did the Continental army or the several states have 
jurisdiction over deserters? A committee charged with bring- 
ing in a report on the matter recommended an eventual 
system providing for a civil trial by the state in which 
deserters were found. But for the time being the committee sug- 
gested that they be handed over to the military. 54 The report 
was adopted by Congress without objection, but when Burke be- 

60 Burnett, Letters, II, 249. 

61 Burnett, Letters, II, 253. W. C. Ford (ed), Journals of the Continental Congress, VII, 

52 E. C. Burnett, The Continental Congress, 268, 269. 

53 S. R., XI, 381; Journals, VII, 131, 132. 
M Journals, VII, 115-118. 

Thomas Burke, Disillusioned Democrat 165 

came aware of the implications of the clause providing for tem- 
porary jurisdiction over deserters by the army he insisted on 
reopening the question and demanded that his objection be placed 
on the journals. He became involved in a lengthy debate with 
James Wilson of Pennsylvania which well illustrates the demo- 
cratic fear that centralized control was as much to be feared as 
a British victory. All individuals were under the protection of 
the laws of the states in which they found themselves, Burke 
asserted. If the army could seize and try deserters wherever it 
found them, constitutions and bills of rights were "meer waste 
paper." Moreover, if Congress could decide on the question one 
way or the other, then "Congress has power unlimited over the 
lives and liberties of all men in America." The majority of Con- 
gress, however, agreed with Wilson that the measure was one of 
necessity, and so the resolution remained unchanged. 55 

Burke now began to be more often in a minority on points at 
issue. So the problem presented itself: to what extent are ma- 
jority decisions binding? When an attempt was made to change 
a rule which permitted any one state to postpone a vote, Burke 
again smelled tyranny. He maintained that even a majority of 
Congress could not change rules. They were higher law, a con- 
stitution in themselves. He supported his case with the reasoning 
that the rules had been adopted by "common consent," and so 
could only be altered by a unanimous vote. 56 Warming to 
his subject he declared that if a majority of Congress could 
change the rules it could also declare three or four states a 
quorum, or change voting procedures. 57 He clearly saw that 
the majority, as opposed to the minority, could be as arbitrary 
as an absolute despot. But he offered no solution of the eternal 
problem of majority rule vs. minority rights other than to deny 
the former in favor of the latter. 

After his first contentious month in Congress, Burke felt the 
need for some instrument that would accurately define the 
powers of Congress. "Power of all kinds has an irresistible pro- 

55 Journals, VII, 154, 155. 

56 The term "common consent" in the eighteenth century lent itself to ambiguity. Did it 
mean that every issue determined by a public body must be agreed to by every member, or 
did it denote an original consent to be bound by the will of the majority? When speaking of 
the rights of their legislatures against Parliament, the colonists adopted the former inter- 
pretation, but in regard to their own internal legislation they obviously had to practice the 

57 Burnett, Letters, II, 283. 

166 The North Carolina Historical Review 

pensity to increase a desire for itself," he wrote Governor Cas- 
well. "It gives the passion of ambition a velocity which increases 
in its progress: and this is a passion that grows as it is grati- 
fied." 58 He suspected that the northern states might be harbor- 
ing designs against the southern states. He foresaw the possibil- 
ity of Civil War. Local jealousies would always prevent America 
from uniting. "Patriotism in America must always be partial 
to the particular states. Patriotism to the whole will never be 
cherished or regarded . . . ," he prophesied. Congress, in his 
eyes, should never be more than a body to provide common de- 
fense in time of war. In peacetime it must necessaily become the 
instrument whereby the strong oppressed the weak. 

Burke had his wish that a plan be completed to define the 
boundaries between state and congressional authority. In April, 
1777, Congress resumed discussion of the Dickinson draft of the 
Articles of Confederation, which was the report of a committee 
appointed June 12, 1776, to form a plan of union. The committee 
was heavily loaded with conservatives, among them Joheph 
Hewes. Dickinson himself, an ardent whig in the 1760's 
and author of the much praised Farmer's Letters, had 
been overpassed by the Revolution. As the breaking point 
with Britain came nearer he became more and more afraid 
that political and military revolution would presage a social 
revolution. Hence he became the leader of the forces of reconcili- 
ation. He considered the Declaration of Independence a fatal 
error. Then before his eyes the worst happened, in the form of 
the Pennsylvania constitution. Convinced that the trend toward 
democracy must be stopped if there was to be any security for 
property, he embodied in his draft of the Articles of Confedera- 
tion — in disguised form, to be sure — potential powers which 
might be used by a strong central authority to create a national 
government capable of exercising restraint directly over individ- 
uals in the states. 

"The Dickinson draft," says Merrill Jensen, "while by no 
means as explicit as the Constitution of 1787, made the constitu- 
tion of the central government the standard by which the rights, 
powers, and duties of states were to be measured. Congress was 

68 S. R., XI, 418. 

Thomas Burke, Disillusioned Democrat 167 

theoretically, if not practically, the supreme authority." 59 The 
states were given powers, but in every case it was stipulated 
that these powers must not conflict with those of the central 
government. There were only two substantial guarantees of 
states' rights ; first, each state was entitled to enjoy as many of 
its present laws as it saw fit ; second, the regulation of internal 
police was to be the exclusive province of each state. Yet even 
these guarantees held implicit reservations which could render 
them nugatory. It was not stated that the states would be per- 
mitted future enjoyment of their laws, and as for the regulation 
of internal police, no measures could be taken which would inter- 
fere with the operation of the Articles. 

In the months succeeding the Dickinson report Congress 
wrangled over the immediate issues it raised : the basis of repre- 
sentation and contributions by the states, and the distribution of 
western lands. But it remained for Burke to go to the vital issue. 
The third article, he said, which reserved to the states only the 
power of control over their own police, consequently resigned 
every other power. "It appeared to me that this was not what the 
states expected, and, I thought, it left it in the power of the 
future Congress or general Council to explain away every right 
belonging to the states and to make their power as unlimited as 
they please." 60 So he submitted an amendment which became the 
second article of the final instrument and was the decisive dec- 
laration of state sovereignty : "Each state retains its sovereignty, 
freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and 
right which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to 
the united states in Congress assembled." 61 

But even with this declaration of principle the Articles were 
not satisfactory to Burke. In May he wrote Governor Caswell 
that it was almost impossible to reconcile state sovereignty with 
the large state demands for representation in accordance with 
population and wealth. "It is far from improbable," he wrote, 
"that the only Confederation will be a defensive alliance." 62 As 
a solution to the problem of representation he devised a scheme 
for a bicameral national legislature which would have been much 

59 Jensen, Articles of Confederation, 130. 
«°S. R., XI, 461. 

61 Journals, IX, 908. 

62 Burnett, Letters, II, 371. 

168 The North Carolina Historical Review 

like the present Senate and House of Representatives. The fact 
that the lower house voted by voice, and not by states, was a 
significant concession. But the plan was rejected quickly by 
Congress. 63 

The Articles were cast in final form on November 15, 1777. 
Burke, who had left Congress for North Carolina in October, 
brought all his influence to bear against ratification. He wrote 
Governor Caswell that the Articles were entirely unsuited to the 
states and voiced deep suspicion of all who urged their accept- 
ance. 64 In a document dated November 15 he specified his ob- 
jection to some of the individual provisions. 65 Just as the Dickin- 
son draft gave no absolute power to the states, so Burke would 
give no exclusive power to Congress. In general, Congress should 
handle foreign affairs and limit its positive actions to declara- 
tions of war or peace. But the states had the parallel power of 
sending ambassadors and making treaties. Moreover, any one 
state could stay neutral in the event of a declaration of war. Any 
confederation, in Burke's eyes, should be no more than a loose, 
defensive alliance behind a facade of unity erected purely to 
impress foreign powers. The Articles were a dangerous, unneces- 
sary "Chimerical project." 

His criticisms undoubtedly made a deep impression on the As- 
sembly. When the Articles arrived for ratification Burke was 
placed on a committee to report on them. 66 None of the other 
delegates to Congress, Harnett, Penn, or Hooper, had shown 
convictions one way or the other on the matters of basic principle 
that seemed so important to Burke. Hence the committee followed 
his advice almost to the letter and recommended only seven of 
the thirteen articles for ratification. 67 Their only deviation was 
in their belief that the final instrument, when ratified, should 
be permanent and binding. The Assembly followed the report 
and gave the suggested partial ratification. 

Although Burke's campaign against the Articles had been 
quite a triumph and had undoubtedly raised his political prestige 

63 Journals, VII, 328, 329. Burke's faith in bicameralism had grown since the time of the 
Orange instructions. In March he defended the principle vigorously in a letter to Caswell. 
S. R., XI, 422. 

64 S. R., XI, 669. 

65 Burnett, Letters II, 552-566. 

66 S. R., XII, 401. On his return to North Carolina Burke had been elected to the Assembly 
from Orange. S. R„ XII, 317. 

« 7 S. R., XII, 411. 

Thomas Burke, Disillusioned Democrat 169 

at home, his aggressiveness and irascibility had made him many 
enemies in Congress. New members of legislative bodies are 
supposed to mind their manners and not speak unless spoken to — 
at least for a while. Moreover it is the course of prudence for 
them to show respect for their elders. Yet young Thomas Burke, 
hardly turned thirty and sometimes painfully aware that he was 
Mr. North Carolina, was assertive from the moment of his ar- 
rival and sometimes showed a tendency to take a reversal as 
a personal affront. In the debate over the question of congres- 
sional power to increase the size of state delegations, he chose 
to consider the move as a slighting reference to his own ability 
since he was the only North Carolina delegate in Congress at the 
time. In a speech in which he deprecated his abilities in an exag- 
gerated, ironical manner implying superiority, he declared that 
"he considered the amendment as implying a Censure on his 
country and he must therefore protest against it." The other 
delegates, probably much surprised, hastily disclaimed any in- 
tention to censure. 68 A few weeks later he lectured the Congress 
on the art of polite expression. Apparently some very salty 
language had been used in a committee report on alleged British 
outrages. Although the volatile Richard Henry Lee urged that 
the language was appropriate "because it expressed only what 
our enemies really are," Burke replied that "simplicity of style 
was true beauty, and dignity in the language of public bodies." 
"Embellishments of splendid epithets and figures," he declared, 
warming to his subject, "were only for rhetoricians and such as 
write for amusement." Continuing a report of his speech in the 
third person, he observed, "he could wish that our Energy might 
appear in our Actions and that our Language might be simple 
and unadorned. He admired the Peasants of Switzerland who in 
their struggles for Freedom were as remarkable for Modesty in 
their Language as Vigor in their Exertions, and Congress might 
imitate them in both." 69 

A few months later Burke himself became the most flagrant 
violator of his own lofty sentiments. In April, 1778, his con- 
tinued insistence on absolute state sovereignty led him into what 
many members considered a sovereign contempt of Congress. 

68 Burnett, Letters, II, 239. 

69 Burnett, Letters, II 265, 266. 

170 The North Carolina Historical Review 

There had been an acrimonious debate on the ninth and tenth 
over the wording of a letter to be sent to Washington. The 
general had been negotiating with Howe for an exchange of 
prisoners and had agreed that armed loyalists were to be given 
belligerent status. When many members objected that armed 
loyalists were traitors and should be prosecuted as such by state 
courts, Washington rejoined that it would be better "to let the 
laws sleep." Using this statement as a springboard, a group 
hostile to the general drew up an insulting letter of remon- 
strance. 70 

Although Burke was in entire agreement that armed loyalists 
should be subject to prosecution for treason, he disapproved the 
obvious intent to insult Washington. On the evening of the 
tenth, while the debate was at its height, he walked out of the 
Congress and broke the quorum. Later he stated that he was too 
ill to attend further, but more likely he made the move purposely 
to postpone the question by forcing an adjournment. Henry 
Laurens, the president, sent a messenger after him to require his 
attendance. Burke, logically maintaining that there could be no 
Congress without him and that the message was therefore unof- 
ficial, replied, "Devil take him if he would come. . . ." 71 Faced 
with this impertinence, Congress decided to teach Burke a lesson. 
The incident, and his words, were spread on the journal. When 
Burke learned of this next morning he declared with gusto "that 
he would not submit to the tyranny of a majority of Congress." 
He would attend at times he thought reasonable, but would not 
attend at times he thought unreasonable. 72 But he did not realize 
the extent of the annoyance of Congress. Member after member 
denounced him as guilty of contempt. When Burke rose to reply 
he was considerably chastened. He acknowledged that Congress 
had a power to enforce the attendance of its members and that his 
refusal to attend was a breach of order, thus admitting that his 
status was something less than that of a diplomatic representative. 
Nevertheless he declared that "any undue or unreasonable exer- 
cise of any power, tho' lawful power, is Tyrannical, and no free- 
man is bound to submit to it." This he held to be "the Grand 

70 Burnett, Letters, III, x, 160, 161; Burnett, Continental Congress, 303. 

71 Journals, X, 334. 

72 Journals, X, 336. 

Thomas Burke, Disillusioned Democrat 171 

Principle of Whiggism." 73 The matter might have rested here, 
but on the twenty-fourth Burke moved to have his defense 
entered in the journal. The request was refused. His enemies 
now referred the whole matter to a committee, and a full investi- 
gation ensued. 74 The result was a severe rebuke to Burke. His 
action was declared in a resolution to be "disorderly and con- 
temptuous" and a blow at the very existence of the house. More- 
over, a copy of the resolve and all documents on the case were 
ordered to be sent to the Assembly of North Carolina. 75 Burke's 
only recourse was to write a long letter to Governor Caswell by 
way of justification. 76 

Burke's statement that no free man is bound to submit to 
"unreasonable" exercise of lawful power represents the fulfill- 
ment of his democratic thinking. The fact that any such criterion 
of judgment was bound to be subjective and would lead to 
anarchy was of course outside the comprehension of an age that 
believed reason to be a virtual body of law so clear that no diver- 
gencies of interpretation could occur. The fact that the principle 
when transferred to any federal union of states meant nullifica- 
tion and disruption of the union would have been regarded by 
Burke with indifference. 

Burke emerged from this fracas with an intense antipathy for 
Henry Laurens, president of Congress. Even though a South 
Carolinian, Laurens had made no move to defend him. 77 A year 
later Burke got his revenge. When Laurens sided with John 
Adams in insisting on fishing rights in the North Atlantic as 
sine qua non of peace with Britain, Burke advertised his disre- 
gard of southern interests to the Assembly of North Carolina and 
threatened to have North Carolina troops withdrawn from the 
defense of South Carolina. Laurens came to heel and no longer 
supported the demand for fisheries. It was a complete turnabout. 
This time Laurens, not Burke, was compelled to justify himself 
to Caswell. 78 

Another bitter quarrel took place with General John Sullivan. 
Burke had been present at Brandywine and had become con- 

73 Journals, X, 340. 

74 Journals, X, 386, 389. 

75 Journals, X, 390, 391. 

76 S. R., XIV, 403-407, 87-89. 

77 Before he started for home, Burke wrote a rather humble letter to Laurens. Burnett, 
Letters, III, 193, 194. Laurens' reply was cold and indifferent. Burnett, Letters, III, 206. 

78 The series of letters covering the controversy appear in Burnett, Letters, IV, 129-149. 

172 The North Carolina Historical Review 

vinced of Sullivan's incompetence. Accordingly he made strenu- 
ous efforts in Congress to have him removed from his command. 
Sullivan, on the other hand, represented himself to Congress as 
the victim of a smear campaign on the part of Burke. Thereupon 
Burke wrote him a letter which can scarcely be equalled for sheer 
effrontery. With icy contempt he accused him of complete, 
blundering incompetence. 79 Before the matter could come to a 
duel, Sullivan was ordered to Rhode Island. He conducted a 
campaign there with skill and later won signal victories in 
western Pennsylvania. Then he hurled back Burke's charges. 
Deprived of any effective answer, Burke chose to duel rather 
than apologize. But apparently the two never had an encounter. 80 

As a concomitant to his suspicion of any effective union of the 
states, Burke had undeviatingly supported sectional legislation. 
Although he recognized the weaknesses of paper money in financ- 
ing the war, he was unalterably opposed to the issuance of loan 
office certificates believing that these, bearing interest, would be 
bought up by northern speculators and would constitute a con- 
tinuing tax on the South. 81 He tried to wean Virginia away from 
any close relations with the northern states. 82 He was adamant in 
opposing the New England move to demand the North Atlantic 
fisheries as a condition for peace. 83 Although he was not willing to 
prolong the war to obtain the free navigation of the Mississippi, 
nevertheless he favored making a demand for it from Spain. 84 

But by 1779 his views had begun to change. The war was mov- 
ing toward the South. The safety of North Carolina demanded a 
union which would be effective enough to force northern aid. 
Burke gradually ceased to test all measures of Congress 
by the criterion of state sovereignty and began to think 
more in terms of national power. This change in his ideas 
illustrates the fact that the doctrine of states' rights is not so 
much a creed as a policy which has been adopted or rejected by 
American sections in various periods of American history to 
attain specific political and economic objectives. Early in the 

79 Burnett Letters II 519. 

80 For a full account 'of the matter see Journals, VIII, 742, 749; Burnett, Letters, II, 496, 
515, 519-520, 530; S. R., XV, 83-86, 86-89. 

81 Burnett, Letters, II, 240-242, 246-249. 

82 S. R., XI, 391. 

83 The best summary of this struggle is in Burnett's prefatory notes to Letters, IV, xviii- 

84 Journals, XIX, 153, 154. 

Thomas Burke, Disillusioned Democrat 173 

Revolution, when the fighting was taking place chiefly in Massa- 
chusetts and New York, the northern states were strong for na- 
tional unity and the South championed state sovereignty. But 
when the war moved into Virginia and the Carolinas the situa- 
tion was reversed. 

Thus as early as 1778 Burke favored the creation of a perma- 
nent officer corps which would guarantee the effectiveness of a 
national army. He admitted that the existence of such a force 
would make some kind of permanent union necessary. 85 Most 
revealing is his attitude toward the idea of a partial confederacy 
which had been advocated by some of the states when Maryland 
refused to ratify the Articles of Confederation. 86 "For every 
purpose of common defense and common exertions in the prog- 
ress of the present war and for the conclusion thereof the states 
are united by former acts of the several states," he wrote to the 
Assembly in October, 1779. Any move for a partial confederacy 
might promote disunion. He viewed with alarm the fact that five 
states could veto a peace treaty. This was an unexpected inter- 
pretation of the Articles of Confederation by one who had main- 
tained only a few years before than any permanent union was a 
"Chimerical project" and who had argued for the right of any 
individual to judge the reasonableness of any act of power. It 
was a little inconsistent of the man who had declared that there 
could never be a national patriotism in 1777 to speak of "the old 
union" in 1779. 87 

But in 1780 Burke went even further in the attempt to give the 
central government power over the states. He introduced a 
resolution on March 18 "That the states be requested to pass laws 
enabling Congress to levy an impost of one percent on all exports 
and imports" to carry on the war and support the currency. The 
motion was overwhelmingly defeated by a solid block of northern 
states. But the next year he and John Witherspoon of New Jersey 
succeeded in effecting the passage of a resolution urging the 
states to grant Congress the power of levying a five percent duty 
on imports. 88 Favoring a national tariff would have been un- 
thinkable to Burke a few years previously. 

85 Burnett, Letters, III, 161, 162, 163. 

86 For details see Burnett, Continental Congress, 494. 

87 S. R., XIV, 350. 

88 Journals, XVI, 261; XIX, 112. 

174 The North Carolina Historical Review 

There are indications that Burke's democratic ideas on inter- 
nal policy in his own state were changing also. During short 
periods of his congressional career when he was in North Caro- 
lina, Burke often occupied a seat in the Assembly. He introduced 
a good bit of legislation, all of it to strengthen the executive. 
Thus in December, 1777, he presented a bill to empower the 
governor to send the militia out of the state. 89 He had favored 
court reforms which would bring officials more under the control 
of the governor, and he advocated higher taxation. Moreover, he 
voted for an act validating the claims of speculative land com- 
panies to the western domain. The objections of Thomas Person, 
who led the forces against this act, show a widening gap between 
the two men. "Perpetuities and monopolies are contrary to 
the genius of a free State," are Person's words as written in the 
journal, "and the granting thereof is a direct violation of our 
Constitution. . . ." Moreover, ". . . the property of the soil in a 
free state is one of the essential rights of the collective body of 
the people." 90 These are words which might have been written 
by Burke himself in 1776, but now they were written by an 

As Burke approached the last period of his life, as governor of 
the state, he was showing more of the qualities of a good execu- 
tive — an ability for organization to meet specific problems, 
steadfastness in the face of opposition, and the ability to com- 
mand. But he was definitely losing the strain of democratic 
idealism illustrated by the Orange instructions of 1776. 

When Burke came into office as the third governor of North 
Carolina, June 25, 1781, the state was in anarchy. Shortly after 
the battle of Guildford Courthouse, Green had gone south to 
besiege Charleston and Cornwallis had moved into Virginia. In 
their wake both armies left partisan bands that ravaged the 
country. "During this period," says Connor, "North Carolina 
was the victim of a carnival of pillage, rapine and murder that 
surpasses that of the era of Reconstruction." 91 Governor Nelson 
of Virginia, in congratulating Burke upon his election, declared 
that any man who could bring order out of the chaos of North 

89 S. R., XII, 347. 

90 S. R., XII, 409. 

91 History of North Carolina, I, 487. 

Thomas Burke, Disillusioned Democrat 175 

Carolina would be "Magnus Apollo." 92 Nelson's statement was 
hardly an exaggeration. 

The preceding Assembly had done away with the Board of 
War, a committee that made all military decisions, and had given 
almost dictatorial powers to the governor acting with a "Council 
Extrordinary" of three. 93 In his inaugural message, Burke called 
for a stif f er militia law that would make every able-bodied man 
subject to draft, more efficient supply service, and better tax 
collection. Disparaging the value of militia, he advised the estab- 
lishment of a permanent officer force similar to the national 
cadre he had advocated in Congress. As for the loyalists, the best 
policy would be "to reclaim all who are reclaimable of our ill- 
advised and deluded citizens and expel the incorrigible by force 
of arms." He advocated a protective tariff, even though he ad- 
mitted this was a "delicate subject." 94 

The Assembly quickly passed legislation covering all of his 
recommendations except those that referred to long-range policy. 
The session was short, for it was evident the members wanted to 
get home to their families. 95 

After the dissolution July 14, Burke put his wide powers into 
operation. His first problem was the armed loyalists. The state 
government from the beginning of the war had adopted the 
theory that they were traitors subject to criminal process. 96 
Burke shared this view, along with most other whig statesmen 
of the period. Under the authority of the Assembly's latest en- 
actment he proposed that all loyalists be required to go to various 
predetermined centers and take an oath of allegiance. Those who 
refused would be subject to expulsion and confiscation of their 
property and would be treated as enemies. Leaders of armed 
bands and those guilty of violent actions against the state would 
be subject to criminal process. Special courts of oyer and term- 
iner would be set up to try these cases. 97 

In setting up these courts, Burke, on his own authority, 
nullified an act of the Assembly on what he believed to be con- 
stitutional grounds. The incident is important as an early exam- 

ea S. R., XV, 577. 

98 S. R., XXIV, 378. 

»*S. R., XVII, 910-913. 

* See S. R., XXIV, 384-387, 390-398, 404-405. 

96 For a good discussion of loyalist legislation see R. O. De Mond, The Loyalists in North 
Carolina during the Revolution, chapter VII. 

97 S. R., XIX, 862. 

176 The North Carolina Historical Review 

pie of constitutional review. The act gave these courts life and 
death power. No appeal was provided for. "This will be a prece- 
dent for erecting courts of justice, the judges of which must be 
entirely dependent on the legislature," he informed his council. 
"Should the legislature ever become so corrupt and wicked as to 
erect them, civil liberty will be deprived of its surest defenses 
against the most dangerous usurpations." Since the governor 
nominated the judges, Burke went on, he and the judges acting 
in collusion could proscribe at will. Thus the courts, armed with 
the power of life and death, in effect became supreme although 
dependent on the executive. Burke felt that the bill was danger- 
ous and unconstitutional. It was beyond the power of any legis- 
lature to create a supreme power. Repeating the fear so often 
voiced by revolutionary leaders, he declared, "nothing can at any 
time hinder the Assembly from voting itself perpetual" if it as- 
sumes such a power, "and making it high treason to dispute such 
usurped authority." 98 Therefore he recommended ignoring the 
law and setting up courts under an earlier law of 1777. 

It is evident that Burke's reasoning is contradictory. In one 
breath he declares the courts unconstitutional because they are 
dependent on the other two branches of the government, thus 
destroying the principle of balance of power written into the 
constitution. In the next he condemns them because they are 
supremely independent. But the greatest shortcoming in his 
reasoning was a failure to realize that if the executive assumed 
a power to nullify legislation on any grounds whatsoever, he 
was arrogating to himself a veto — a move not only in itself 
obviously unconstitutional but also a stretch of power that would 
go far to make the executive superior to any other branch of 
government. Nevertheless the council followed his recommenda- 
tion and the courts were set up under the law of 1777. 

The incident is interesting as an example of the confusion of 
lawmakers under the first state constitutions caused by the 
inevitable problem of constitutional review. How to provide for 
review without at the same time making the reviewing power 
superior to the constitution ? Pennsylvania and Vermont provided 
for councils of censors and New York set up a council of revision, 
but these expedients proved either inadequate or arbitrary. The 

os S. R., XIX, 864. 

Thomas Burke, Disillusioned Democrat 177 

only solution was to take the power out of the hands of men and 
give it to the law. To the eighteenth and nineteenth century this 
was a happy solution, since the law was the embodiment of 
reason, seemingly independent of the lawyers who construed it. 

The next two months were periods of intense activity for 
Burke. He was confronted with staggering military problems. It 
was necessary to raise militia forces to protect the northern 
border against a move south by Cornwallis and to protect the 
southern border against a move north by British forces based at 
Charleston. At the same time some way must be found to destroy 
the loyalist bands ravaging the country, to contain the British 
at Wilmington, and give all possible support to General Greene, 
commander of the Southern Department. With grim determina- 
tion Burke took the whole responsibility of organization on 
himself. He traveled about the country at great personal hazard, 
issued hundreds of orders to militia commanders, and did his 
best to give Greene all cooperation. The extent of his effectiveness 
will probably never be known, but probably it was small. The 
problems he faced were well-nigh insuperable. 

Burke's capture by the notorious loyalist partisan leader, 
David Fanning, brought his activities to a sudden halt. The 
governor was temporarily encamped at Hillsborough with a 
small force when the loyalist leader surrounded the town early 
in the morning of September 12, 1781. At first Burke was deter- 
mined to sell his life as dearly as possible, for he expected no 
mercy from the partisans. But a short time after the firing 
started, a British officer approached the house within which the 
governor and his staff had barricaded themselves and informed 
them they would be taken to Wilmington as prisoners if they 
surrendered. Burke agreed. By forced marches through back 
country in order to avoid whig forces, the cortege finally arrived 
at Wilmington on the twenty-third. Here they were handed over 
to the British commandant, Major Craig." 

Burke was completely done in. His clothes were in rags and he 
had been pillaged of everything he owned. But from the friendly 
greeting he received from Craig he hoped that he would soon be 
exchanged as a prisoner of war. The next day, however, he was 

99 Burke gave two detailed accounts of his capture, one in a letter of Oct. 17 (S. R., XV, 
650-654), the other in a message to the Assembly (S. R., XVI, 11-19). See also Fanning's 
narrative. S. R., XXII, 207. 

178 The North Carolina Historical Review 

confined to a bare room on the order of Craig and informed he 
was "a prisoner of state." The ambiguous term had an ominous 
ring, but Burke's courage did not desert him. In his adversity he 
called upon philosophy. ". . . my prospect was that of reducing 
to practice much of what I had read of the Lacedemonian virtue," 
he wrote a few days later, "and I began to cast my memory back 
through the history of that patient, autere people in search of 
some person whom I could propose for my model." 10 ° He had 
ample time for choice, for "tho' not shut up in a Seraglio," he 
was "as difficult of access as his Majesty of Constantinople." He 
left no record of whether he found a historical character suitable 
for emulation, but he took consolation in the fact that "his most 
trifling movements were considered so dangerous to a Prince 
who is Lord of so many brave Battalions and so invincible a navy 
and such inexhaustible resources as his Majesty of Great 

Burke was given parole in November on his own request, but 
only within the limits of James Island, off Charleston. Here he 
was in grave danger of his life from loyalist refugees who had 
settled there after expulsion from North Carolina. An unseen 
assailant, firing through a window one night, killed a companion 
at his side. Then a friend who had talked to Craig explained to 
Burke the significance of his status as "prisoner of state." He 
was being held as a hostage for the lives of loyalists — particu- 
larly Fanning — who might be condemned by North Carolina civil 
courts. Now Burke realized that he was in more imminent danger 
than ever. 

An apreciation of his predicament requires an explanation of 
the law of belligerent status observed in the Revolution. At the 
beginning of the war the British granted belligerent status to the 
rebels, although legally they might be considered as traitors 
subject to criminal process. The move was not taken because of 
humanitarian considerations, but merely because the legal course 
would invite retaliation. Belligerent status was extended to mili- 
tia as well as the regular army, but the British insisted, with 
reason, that the Americans extend belligerent status to what the 
British considered their own militia — the armed loyalists. Wash- 
ington agreed to this but the states protested. They insisted on 


S. 22., XV, 652. 

Thomas Burke, Disillusioned Democrat 179 

regarding armed loyalists as traitors under their own state laws. 
This was the occasion for Washington's statement, "it would be 
better to let the laws sleep" which caused such a furor in Con- 
gress. 101 The argument was never settled. The Continental Army 
held loyalists as prisoners of war while the states, regarding 
them as traitors, held them personally responsible for all acts of 

General Greene, after the fall of Charleston, had made an 
arrangement with the British — called a "cartel" — whereby 
prisoners would be exchanged on both sides and officers given 
parole. It was agreed that loyalists were to have belligerent 
status corresponding to that of American militia. 102 But this was 
contrary to North Carolina law and the most cherished ideas of 
Governor Burke. As early as 1777 Burke had introduced a bill 
into the Assembly to confiscate loyalist estates. 103 In 1781 the 
Assembly, at his urging, made more stringent its treason laws. 104 
When General Caswell, of the state militia, put to death some 
loyalist prisoners, Craig accused him of murder and wrote to 
Burke threatening reprisals on prisoners in British hands. 105 
Burke replied that Caswell was carrying out the law. He threw 
the threat back into Craig's teeth with grim sarcasm: "Should 
you in any instance put this threat into execution," he wrote, 
"the effect will be very different than you expect, for although 
we would abhor following the example of our Indian savage 
neighbors in delivering over prisoners to be tortured at the 
pleasure of a fierce and vengeful kindred, yet the example of a 
nation so polite and celebrated as Great Britain would meet with 
more respect, and we should probably imitate it with peculiar 
advantages should our humanity be obliged to give way to public 
utility." 106 A few days later the Assembly ordered Burke to pur- 
sue a policy of retaliation. 107 

Then Burke himself was captured and delivered over to Major 
Craig. It must have seemed to the major a prime example of 
poetic justice. Burke was hoist on his own petard. The most 

i°i Burnett, Letters, III, 161. 

103 G. W. Greene, Life of Nathanael Greene, III, 282. 

M3 S. R., XII, 412. 

** S. R., XXIV, 396. 

105 S. R., XXII, VI, 1024-1024; see also XV, 553-555. 

106 S. R., XXII, 1028. 
*> 7 S. R., XVII, 829. 

180 The North Carolina Historical Review 

important advocate of the policy of retaliation had himself 
become the most fitting subject for retaliation. 

As Burke regarded his own position, it must have seemed very 
grim indeed. At any moment on James Island he might be shot 
out of hand by loyalist refugees or he might he formally executed 
by a British firing squad. And what would the North Carolina 
government do? It had two alternatives. Either it could suspend 
the treason laws and save Burke — at the expense of probable 
renewed loyalist outbreaks — or it could enforce the laws and 
perhaps send Burke to his death. Either alternative was undoubt- 
edly very painful for Burke to contemplate. But there were three 
possible ways out of the dilemma. He might be exchanged for a 
prominent Britisher in American hands, he might be paroled 
behind the American lines, or, all else failing, he might break his 
parole and escape from James Island. 

Hope for the first possibility went glimmering when neither 
North Carolina nor the army made a move to effect his exchange. 
On November 27 Burke begged a friend to intercede with Gen- 
eral Leslie, commander at Charleston, to grant his parole 
home. 108 He received no answer from either the friend or Leslie. 
He knew Craig's purpose too well to make attempts in that 
quarter, so nothing remained but sauve qui peut. Accordingly he 
dispatched a letter to the North Carolina government advising 
that the treason laws be put in full force, and made good his 
escape, leaving behind a letter to Leslie explaining the motives 
for his action. 109 His escape was absolutely necessary, he said, 
because Leslie refused to provide him protection from imminent 
danger of assassination. This alone would cancel any obligation 
to adhere to his parole. But when he heard that he was being held 
for possible retaliation, he continued, then he felt doubly justified 
in escaping. The letter was violently recriminatory and made it 
crystal clear that Burke felt no further obligation to those who 
had extended him parole. 

But after Burke had arrived at Greene's headquarters and had 
had a talk with the general, he dispatched another letter to Leslie, 
much more subdued in tone. Omitting any personal recrimina- 
tion, he justified his action solely on the ground of imminent 

i° 8 S. R., XIX, 887. 
10 *S. R., XXII, 606-608. 

Thomas Burke, Disillusioned Democrat 181 

danger to his person and did not mention the subject of retalia- 
tion. Moreover, he offered to effect the release of any British 
officer Leslie might name by way of exchange, or to return to 
the British lines on condition that he would be treated as the 
officers of the Continental Army when prisoners of war. 110 Thus 
he admitted what he had denied in his earlier letter to Leslie — 
a continuing obligation contingent on certain conditions. 

Leslie made reply by a letter to Greene January 27. Deriding 
Burke's fears of assassination as "chimerical," he made it clear 
that Burke should return to Charleston immediately. He guaran- 
teed that after his return every precaution would be taken to 
insure his safety. 111 Burke refused the demand and took over the 
reins of government of the state. 

Historians have hesitated to pass judgment on whether Burke 
was justified in breaking his parole and returning to his position 
as governor. The difficulty is to appraise his action in terms of 
eighteenth-century values. From the facts as we know them, 
Burke was probably justified in considering all obligation at an 
end. He was very plainly in real danger on James Island. His 
former host there, writing in 1783, declared that if he had not 
escaped he would never have left the island alive. 112 Burke was 
right in assuming that parole was a bilateral obligation. The 
British owed him protection in return for his promise to remain 
disarmed and thus relieve them of the necessity of guarding him. 
When they plainly refused to perform their part of the bargain, 
and when Burke sincerely believed himself in danger, he was 
justified in considering all obligation at an end. The fact that he 
was held as a "prisoner of state," a possible subject for retalia- 
tion, would not in itself justify breaking parole. He had request- 
ed parole with full knowledge of his indefinite status. 

The question arises as to whether Burke was obligated to re- 
turn on the basis of Leslie's promise that he would receive full 
protection. The answer must be that he was not. Burke offered to 
return on the condition that he be given the status of a Continen- 
tal Army prisoner. Leslie did not meet this condition. He offered 
nothing more than a return to Burke's original status. 

u° S. R., XVI, 178. 
111 S. R., XVI, 179. 
"2S. R., XXII, 620. 

182 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Some might argue that even though Burke was justified in 
breaking parole he was unwise in taking up the reins of govern- 
ment. Actually Burke was compelled by law to resume his posi- 
tion as governor. The Assembly had passed a law in 1781 forcing 
all Americans paroled by the British to renounce their obliga- 
tion. 113 The law was intended to reach those who got themselves 
captured and paroled with the express purpose of thereby avoid- 
ing military service. If Burke had not renounced his parole he 
would have been held personally responsible to the Assembly. 

All these considerations were minor, however, beside the ques- 
tion of whether Burke had violated his own personal honor — the 
eighteenth-century code in whose service men performed both 
heroic deeds and deeds of heroic absurdity. In the eyes of its 
devotees — particularly military officers — Burke had committed 
the only unpardonable sin. He had broken the code. Noblesse 
oblige dictated that he should have gone to his death on James 
Island chin up, eyes forward, a few words for the edification of 
posterity on his lips. It was Burke's misfortune that he himself 
probably believed this. If he could honestly have convinced him- 
self that he was justified in breaking his word, the remainder of 
his life might not have been so tragic. Actually, the regard by 
American military leaders for the binding quality of oaths was 
highly selective. A host of Revolutionary officers from Washing- 
ton down the line apparently felt no compunction in breaking 
oaths of allegiance to Great Britain taken earlier in the Royal 
Army or militia service. The whigs of North Carolina had taken 
great pains in 1776 to persuade former Regulators that the oaths 
of allegiance they took to Great Britain after the battle of Ala- 
mance — largely at the insistence of these same whigs — were no 
longer binding. It was apparently only in the realm of gentle- 
manly conduct that oaths became things to die for. 

Burke wrote letter after letter to Greene, fulminating against 
the disapproval he felt to be all about him and repeating the 
reasons for his decision in vain hope of a complete moral vindi- 
cation. 114 In defending himself from attacks he tried to maintain 
that it was on Greene's advice he had resumed his position. This 

118 S. R., XXIV, 394-395. The law is badly drafted and unclear, in that it does not directly 
invalidate all British paroles. Yet it is plain that all returning civil and military officers 
would open themselves to prosecution unless they personally renounced their paroles. 

"*S. R„ XVI, 214-216, 278-283, 312-314, 445. 

Thomas Burke, Disillusioned Democrat 183 

put Greene in a bad spot. He could not afford to offend Burke. 
Burke's energy and the full cooperation he gave as head of the 
North Carolina government were valuable military assets. So 
Greene made it plain that he sympathized with the governor and 
did not condemn his action. Yet as an officer and a gentleman he 
carefully avoided giving approval. He said his advice had been 
for Burke to retire "in order to put his conduct in as favorable 
a light as possible" 115 — advice he could safely give once con- 
vinced of Burke's determination to the contrary. Finally, forced 
by Burke's importunities, he rendered the crushing verdict. "My 
idea of the sacredness of a parole is such that I would sooner have 
abided the consequences than have left the enemy's lines," he 
said. 116 

Burke was further embittered by the feeling that the state and 
the army had deserted him in his hour of need. If efforts had 
been made to exchange him, he thought, the whole affair might 
have been avoided. The army "would have made themselves very 
easy if I had been privately murdered or publicly executed," he 
charged. 117 As for the state, "It is easy to perceive that I was 
sacrificed to difficult, dangerous and important tasks only because 
I was supposed to have the talents to execute them." 118 In his 
message at the opening of the Assembly in 1782 he plainly ac- 
cused the members of neglect. 119 

It is an open question whether Burke sought re-election to the 
governorship when the Assembly met in May, 1782. He protested 
his desire to retire, but in such terms as to suggest he could be 
drafted. Yet the Assembly took no notice and dismissed him with 
a curt, one-sentence resolution of thanks that contrasted mark- 
edly with the lavish ceremony and the declaration of esteem that 
had preceded his induction into office. 120 

Thus bitter, disillusioned, and probably harried by a sense 
of shame, Burke went back to what was left of his plantation in 
Orange County. It was probably in this period that he wrote an 
essay on constitutional government which shows how far he had 

x^S. R., XVI, 238. 

*w S. R., XVI, 331. 

» 7 S. R„ XVI, 253, 280. 

K8S. R., XVI, 280. 

»»S. R., XVI, 18. 

iao S. R., XVI, 44; XVII, 813-814. 

184 The North Carolina Historical Review 

deviated from his former democratic faith. 121 Personal resent- 
ment undoubtedly had much to do with the change in his ideas, 
but a more important cause was probably the course of North 
Carolina during the war. The mass of its citizens certainly had 
not exhibited the noblest qualities of mankind. Outside of a rela- 
tively small number of ardent patriots and equally ardent loyal- 
ists, the majority of the people appear to have been indifferent. 
No other reason can explain why the third most populous state, 
and one with good agricultural production, could support only a 
small army in the field. The laws of this period indicate that 
every dodge was used to escape military service. 

In his essay Burke declares there can be no equality in a 
political society. An inequality of talents will always produce an 
inequality of property, and property will always command 
honors. Therefore "I should advise that those causes should pro- 
duce their natural effects as easily and advantageously as possi- 
ble." In other words, we live in a world where inequality is 
inevitable, therefore the purpose of a constitution is to promote 
and perpetuate it. To that end a nobility based on landed prop- 
erty should be created. They should constitute an upper house 
of the legislature. Here the similarity to the House of Lords is 
evident. A lower house whose purpose was only to check the 
upper house should have a representation based on freehold suf- 
frage even though theoretically it was to represent all the 
"people." "Only those who own property are interested in the 
permanent happiness of the country," declares Burke. He specif- 
ically denies that the people as a whole are able to govern them- 
selves — the essence of the democratic creed. Foreshadowing The 
Federalist he declares that factions are inevitable and will dis- 
rupt government unless the higher orders of society ". . . direct 
the actions of the community, plan for its advantage, and correct 
by lowering their passions, the inferior orders." Political power 
should rest with ". . . the few who have wealth and leisure." 

Although Burke, as an inhabitant and representative of 
Orange County, spoke the credo of the frontier in 1776, he used 
a different language in 1783. Refusing the offer of a friend who 

m The MS., a fragment of a longer work, is in the Burke Papers, N. C. Department of 
Archives and History. It might have been written at the time of the Halifax Congress of 
April, 1776, but the whole tone of it is so contrary to what must have been Burke's ideas at 
the time that it seems almost certain to have come from a later period. 

Thomas Burke, Disillusioned Democrat 185 

invited him to join in carving out a plantation in the back coun- 
try of Georgia, he said, "new countries lure the idle as well as 
the adventurous, and take up many people who have found it 
inconvenient to remain in other states." In this society "no form 
of government can give security and liberty is as much an empty 
name as among the natives of indostan. Power is tyranny in its 
most hideous form" (i.e. except when in the hands of the wealthy 
and leisured) "for it is cruel, unrelenting and capricious as that 
monster multitude by whom it is exercised." As for himself, he 
wanted to spend the rest of his life "in an elegant enjoyment of 
the pleasures of society." 122 Frederick Jackson Turner would 
probably have been puzzled by Burke. 

A more complete repudiation of democracy can hardly be 
imagined. Burke's political thought had come a complete circle 
since 1776. Starting with his increasing desire to centralize 
authority while a delegate to Congress, he had been led to qualify 
severely, if not even to repudiate, state sovereignty. Then the 
events of 1781 and his subsequent disillusionment had done the 

The circumstances of Burke's death are almost as tragic as his 
last years. For some time he had been separated from his wife 
and in bad health. 123 He died on December 2, 1783. Hooper wrote 
to Iredell on the occasion. "Dr. Burke died about a fortnight 
since, and fell, in some measure, a sacrifice to the obstinacy 
which marked his character through life. ... It would, however, 
be a question with his friends whether life upon the terms he 
had it would not have been a curse in the extreme. Laboring 
under a complication of disorders; oppressed with the most 
agonizing pains, which for months had deprived him of his 
natural rest; his whole mass of blood dissolved; his temper 
soured with disappointment, and, to sum up his misery — no 
friend or companion at his home to soothe the anguish of his 
mind or mitigate the pain of his body. Was not death to him 'a 
comforter, friend, and physician?' " 124 

Hooper's rhetorical question was pertinent. It was fitting that 
he, the great denouncer of popular government in 1776, should 
write Burke's epitaph in 1783. 

122 Letter of Aug. 4, 1783. Burke Letter Books. 

123 James Iredell wrote his wife in November, 1782, that Burke was "wife hungry." McRee, 
Iredell, II, 26. 

124 McRee, Iredell, II, 83. 

186 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Probably no man of the Revolutionary period in North Caro- 
lina has given more devoted service to the state than Thomas 
Burke. Under different circumstances his talents would have 
been of great use to the state and his faults kept in control. He 
was indeed one of the state's most grievous casualties of the 
Revolutionary War. 


NATIONS, 1918-1920 

By Dewey W. Grantham, Jr. 

Twenty-nine years ago eighteen southern Senators 1 joined a 
dozen Republican irreconcilables to defeat the Lodge resolution 
for ratifying the Treaty of Versailles and thereby to prevent 
United States entrance into the League of Nations. 2 Since that 
fateful day in March, 1920, the historical spotlight has often been 
directed at the train of events which culminated in the Senate's 
rejection of the treaty, and especially at the motivating forces 
behind the Senate's decision. 

The traditional culprits who share the blame for the defeat 
of the treaty in the Senate are Henry Cabot Lodge, Massachusetts 
Republican, usually depicted as breathing fire and brimstone at 
mentioning the pedantic Wilson, the twelve or thirteen irreconcil- 
ables, usually relegated to one side and labelled "isolationists," 
and the great crusader himself, Woodrow Wilson. Since the 
largest single element in the defeat of the treaty in March, 1920, 
was the southern vote, and since little inquiry has been made 
into the whys and wherefores of the southerners' actions, it seems 
profitable to analyze briefly their attitude toward the League and, 
perhaps, to glean an understanding of their staunch refusal to 
quit Woodrow Wilson on this final vote — as most of their Demo- 
cratic cohorts did. 

Southern Congressmen formed the nucleus of the Democratic 
forces which enacted the great Wilsonian domestic program. 3 
They worked together harmoniously and fruitfully, in the main, 
to achieve these Democratic triumphs. When Wilson led his 
country on a holy crusade for peace and brought back from Paris 
the covenant of a "Society of Nations" to enforce the peace of the 
world, the southern Senators forsook the traditional Democratic 

1 For the purposes of this paper the southern states will include only the eleven se«ession 

2 The final vote in the Senate occurred on March 19, 1920, resulting in the defeat of the 
resolution by a vote of 49 to 35, only seven votes short of the required two-thirds majority. 
Significantly, only five Democrats outside the South voted against the resolution, while 
fifteen Democrats who had voted against it the previous November now voted for ratification. 
Congressional Record, Sixty-Sixth Congress, first session (Washington, 1919), 8803; Con- 
gressional Record, Sixty-Sixth Congress, second session, 4599. 

3 An analysis of the contributions of southern Congressmen in enacting the Wilsonian 
legislation is contained in Dewey W. Grantham, Jr., Southern Congressional Leaders and the 
New Freedom, 1913-1917, unpublished master's thesis, 1947, University of North Carolina. 


188 The North Carolina Historical Review 

position (which opposed the extension of America's participation 
in international affairs) and gave their support to the treaty as 
it stood. 

The twenty-two southern Senators form an interesting group 
for historical study. Eighteen of them were directly concerned 
in the passage of the New Freedom legislation ; eleven were chair- 
men of important committees in the House or Senate during the 
period from 1913 to 1919 ; while only two, William Julius Harris 
of Georgia and Nathaniel Barksdale Dial of South Carolina, were 
freshman Senators in 1919. One, Thomas Staples Martin, long- 
time Virginia political boss and conservative, was majority leader 
of the Senate Democrats during the period of their control and 
the minority leader from March 4, 1919, until his death in No- 
vember of the same year. 4 Martin's death was to be one of the 
factors in the League fight in the Senate. 

A majority of these Senators had given Wilson wholehearted 
assistance during the preceding six years. Conspicuous among 
his supporters were John Sharp Williams of Mississippi, Lee 
Slater Overman of North Carolina, and Carter Glass of Virginia. 
The sixty-four-year-old Williams was truly a congressional "char- 
acter." A man of great scholarship and southern tradition, Wil- 
liams was perhaps Wilson's staunchest enthusiast. This little man 
had come to Congress in 1893, had served as Democratic minority 
leader in the House, was a splendid debater, and was regarded as 
a liberal. 5 Overman was a good constitutional lawyer and had 
served as Senate chairman of the Rules Committee during the 
previous six years. He was a liberal conservative who embodied 
the best traditions of the Senate. 6 Carter Glass entered the Senate 
in early 1920, a dapper little newspaper editor, with an outstand- 
ing record as a Congressman from Virginia. He had been more 
than any other man save Wilson responsible for the Federal Re- 
serve Act of 1913 and had served briefly as Secretary of the 
Treasury. 7 He was a warm friend of Wilson. 

Oscar Wilder Underwood, dynamic Senator from Alabama, had 
worked well with the President as Democratic majority leader 

4 Virginius Dabney, "Thomas Staples Martin," Dictionary of American Biography, XII, 

5 George Coleman Osborn, John Sharp Williams, Planter-Statesman of the Deep South 
(Baton Rouge, La., 1943), 11-12, 104, 106, 113. 

6 William K. Boyd, "Lee Slater Overman," Dictionary of American Biography, XIV, 114- 

7 Rixey Smith and Norman Beasley, Carter Glass, A Biography (New York, 1939), 38; 
Grantham, "Southern Congressional Leaders," 25-26, 55-62. 

Southern Senators and League of Nations 189 

in the House and would soon make a bid for the minority leader- 
ship in the Senate. He was a parliamentarian of superlative 
quality, with great persuasive powers. 8 Furnifold McLendell Sim- 
mons, quiet and deliberate North Carolinian, had also achieved 
fame because of his relation with the New Freedom. Claude 
Augustus Swanson of Virginia, Charles Allen Culberson of Texas, 
Joseph Taylor Robinson of Arkansas, Kenneth McKellar of 
Tennessee, and Byron Patton Harrison of Mississippi were stal- 
wart Wilsonians, and could be expected to support his League. 

Hoke Smith, big, sixty-three year-old Georgian, was probably 
the most conspicuous southern Senator who frequently disagreed 
with Wilson. Smith possessed a career packed with political ex- 
perience. He was sincere, able, and quite willing to be independent 
if necessary. 9 Duncan Upshaw Fletcher and Park Trammell of 
Florida and John Knight Shields of Tennessee were men also 
capable of action independent of the administration. These were 
the leading southern Senators ; most of them — but not all — would 
support their leader to the utmost. 


In spite of Wilson's appeal to the voters for the return of a 
Democratic Congress in 1918, the Republicans won the election 
and obtained forty-nine of the ninety-six Senate seats. 10 This 
allowed them to organize the Senate committees. The Foreign 
Relations Committee was headed by the veteran Henry Cabot 
Lodge, and of the seventeen members on the committee, ten were 
Republicans, six of whom were irreconcilables. The leading 
Democrat on the committee was Gilbert M. Hitchcock of 
Nebraska, while the Southerners represented were Williams, 
Swanson, and Shields. 11 Perhaps it was unforunate for the League 
that more conciliatory and independent Democrats were not on 
this committee. 

The southern Senators generally endorsed Wilson's decision to 
go to Paris. Morris Sheppard believed that it was in every way 
proper, while Hoke Smith said that the President's "information 
will be most valuable, and will contribute to the future welfare of 

8 Grantham, "Southern Congressional Leaders," 16-18, 46-47. 

9 Robert Preston Brooks, "Hoke Smith," Dictionary of American Biography, XVII, 281-282. 
xo Official Congressional Directory, Sixty-Sixth Congress, first session (Washington, 1919), 


11 Official Congressional Directory, Sixty-Sixth Congress, first session, 150, 179. 

190 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the foreign countries of the world." 12 But even the Democrats 
were a little cool toward Wilson when he spoke to Congress on 
the eve of his departure, upon which occasion he requested "the 
encouragement and the added strength of your united support." 13 

Some of the southerners were quick to defend the President, 
however, as is evidenced in John Sharp Williams* chiding speech 
directed at the Republicans and made in answer to Lawrence Y. 
Sherman's criticism of Wilson's trip. 14 The Democrats, with the 
exception of renegade James A. Reed, Missouri irreconcilable, said 
little about the League prior to Wilson's return in late February. 
Williams proved to be the most fervent defender of the Presi- 
dent's peace policy during this period. He believed the League 
would be insurance "that no civilized nation shall dare make war 
upon another without either offering or accepting fair arbitra- 
tion." 15 Other southerners like McKellar and Swanson rallied to 
Wilson's support. 

Beginning with McKellar, on December 30, 1918, most of the 
southerners made long, prepared speeches favoring the treaty and 
the League. Characteristic of these addresses was that of William 
P. Pollock, retiring Senator from South Carolina, on January 30, 
1919. Pollock commented that he had "listened with some im- 
patience at the petty criticisms of the President ... on account of 
his visit abroad. . . ." He compared the proposed League with the 
American Articles of Confederation, cited the British support of 
the Monroe Doctrine, and gave his undivided support to Wilson. 16 
Less friendly to the President were the swan songs of two other 
departing southerners, James Kimble Vardaman of Mississippi 
and Thomas William Hardwick of Georgia. Their speeches, de- 
livered on February 15 and March 1, 1919, indicated that they 
would have been irreconcilables had they remained in the Senate. 
But they were exceptions to the southern rule. 

On February 15, 1919, after Wilson had made his request that 
the Senate refrain from debating the League pending his arrival 

™New York Times, November 19, 1918. 

13 New York Times, December 3, 1918; Cong. Record, 65 Cong., third sess., 8. 

14 Sherman had introduced a resolution which would have declared Wilson out of office. 
Williams even accused some of the Democrats of "sticking the President with a fine Italian 
dagger every chance they got." Cong. Record, 65 Cong., third sess., 28-31. 

On December 8 the New York Times printed a cartoon entitled "The Girl He Left Behind 
Him," depicting the girl as "Senatorial Fault-Finders" sticking her tongue out (from a 
wharf) at the fading George Washington which was carrying Wilson to Paris. 

15 Cong. Record, 65 Cong., third sess., 84, 88. 

16 Cong. Record, 65 Cong., third sess., 2340-2344. 

Senators John Hollis Bankhead of Alabama, Ellison D. Smith and Nathaniel P. Dial of South 
Carolina, Kirby of Arkansas, Martin of Virginia, Trammell of Florida, Harris of Georgia, and 
Culberson of Texas made no speeches on the League before November 15, 1919. 

Southern Senators and League of Nations 191 

back in the United States, there was a strong element of opposi- 
tion expressed in the Senate, both to the request and to the 
League. Southern Senators Robinson, Ransdell, McKellar, and 
Swanson were quoted as favoring the League, however. 17 In oppo- 
sition to this prevailing southern view was Vardaman. "The Presi- 
dent is coming home well pleased with his little gold rattle," he 
said, but it should "receive ripe, mature, full, and complete discus- 
sion." In Vardaman's opinion, Wilson should have asked the 
Senate to "tear it to pieces," "analyze it," "vivisect it," and find 
its defects. 18 

The majority of the southerners continued to give steadfast, 
though sometimes confused, backing to their leader. John Sharp 
Williams took every opportunity to introduce pro-League edi- 
torials, speeches, poems, and articles into the Record. The nature 
of some of this material afforded his colleagues many chuckles. 19 

To those who opposed him Wilson let it be known that he would 
brook no opposition; this is indicated in his alleged reply to 
Senator Martin's expression of doubt concerning the ratification 
of the treaty: "Any one who opposes me in that, I'll crush!" 20 In 
his New York speech of March 4, 1919, the President belligerently 
said that "when the treaty comes back . . . [my opponents] will 
find the covenant not only in it, but so many threads of the treaty 
tied to the covenant that you cannot dissect the covenant from the 
treaty without destroying the whole vital structure." 21 The lime- 
light during these early months of the Senate fight was not on the 
minority Democrats but on the critical and majority Republicans. 

Between May 19, 1919, when the Senate was convened in extra 
session, and November 19, 1919, when the treaty was finally voted 
on, the Democrats (including the southerners) fought a gradual- 
ly-retreating rear-guard fight in behalf of the League. Soon after 
the session commenced, on May 26, Reed of Missouri created 
something of a sensation when he attempted to draw southern 
opposition to the League through the device of white supremacy. 
"How will the Senators from the South," queried Reed, "who rep- 
resent States which have contended that the white race alone is 
fit to control the destiny of the States of America, . . . [feel when] 

17 New York Times, February 16, 1919. 

19 New York Times, February 16, 1919; Cong. Record, 65 Cong., third sess., 3656. 

19 On September 2, 1919, Williams placed certain resolutions in the Record drafted by the 
Confederate Veterans of Mississippi which urged ratification of the League. 

20 Thomas A. Bailey, Woodrow Wilson and the Great Betrayal (New York, 1945), 13. 

21 New York Times, March 5, 1919. 

192 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Liberia, [and] Haiti, . . . [sit] at the council table of the world 
and each cast [s] a vote equal to that of the United States?" 22 In 
a blistering answer Arkansas' Robinson offered to resign his seat 
if the Arkansans did not support the League two to one. 23 

In early June Williams said that it seemed to him that the dis- 
cussion "has been a plain, palpable, and obvious effort . . . , to nag 
and worry and bedevil the President . . . , not with regard to the 
making of a treaty but with regard to its negotiation, and every 
possible step has been taken to create in foreign countries the 
impression that his own people are not behind him." 24 On June 
19 the Democrats openly accused the Republicans of partisan 
activity against the League, and Williams, in his typically pic- 
turesque way, spoke of the work of an "infernal gang." 25 

Just before Wilson laid the treaty before the Senate, the two 
parties released polls of the Senate on the matter of reservations. 
The Democratic poll stated that forty-nine senators favored 
reservations, while forty-seven were listed as opposing them. 
The Republicans estimated that forty-nine favored reservations, 
but that only thirty-eight opposed them. Of these thirty-eight, 
they listed eighteen southerners. 26 The southerners were loud in 
their praise of Wilson, and the newspaper men reported that dur- 
ing the ovation given Wilson after his treaty presentation speech 
of July 10, the "rebel yell" could be heard quite distinctly. 27 

The Republican strategy of slowing up action on the treaty soon 
began to worry some Democrats, including the President. He con- 
ferred with eleven Senators of his own party on July 28 regarding 
the treaty and chances for speedier action. 28 The Democrats on the 
Foreign Relations Committee were highly vocal in their opposition 
to some of the treaty changes being approved by the committee. 
After it voted on August 23 to return Shantung directly to China, 
Swanson charged that it was an attempt to defeat the treaty, but 
he predicted success for Senate ratification. 29 

The majority report of the Foreign Relations Committee was 
presented to the Senate on September 10, 1919, advising ratifica- 

22 Cong. Record, 66 Cong., first sess., 244. 

23 Cong. Record, 66 Cong., first sess., 239. 

24 Cong. Record, 66 Cong., first sess., 677. 

25 New York Times, June 20, 1919. 

26 Bankhead, Shields, Hoke Smith, and Underwood were considered doubtful by the Re- 
publicans. New York Times, July 9, 1919. 

27 Bailey, Wilson and the Great Betrayal, 5. 

28 New York Times, July 29, 1919. Swanson, Overman, Harrison, and Shields were the 
southerners present. 

20 The committee vote was nine to eight. New York Times, August 24, 1919. 

Southern Senators and League of Nations 193 

tion but with forty-six technical amendments and four reserva- 
tions. 30 The minority report was read to the Senate the following 
day, and was said to be the work of Hitchcock, Swanson, and Wil- 
liams. 31 This report, which was signed by all the committee De- 
mocrats except Shields, condemned the Republican changes to the 
treaty, and charged that their action was "government by ob- 
struction as well as by a minority." It recommended that "the 
work of the peace conference be confirmed, the will of the people 

fulfilled, and the peace of the world advanced by ratification " 32 

On September 15 the treaty became the regular business of the 

The defeat of the committee amendments in early October 
found the southerners adding their support to the rejection of the 
changes. 33 Just before the committee decided on its final program 
of reservations, Shields advocated that the Democrats compro- 
mise with the Republican leaders in order to smooth the way for 
ratification, but Hitchcock opposed such a move, while a confer- 
ence of fifteen Democrats reached no decision on the question. M 
In the subsequent committee debate on reservations, Shields sided 
with the Republicans. 35 The committee's new program included 
fourteen reservations to the League; and Williams claimed that 
the foes of the treaty had "wrapped swaddling clothes around it," 
and "tucked [it] away in its grave." 36 

The voting on the Lodge reservations, which began on Novem- 
ber 7, found most of the southerners, as well as most other 
Democrats, voting in the negative. 37 A total of twenty-eight 
southern votes were cast for the fourteen Lodge reservations, 
averaging about two votes per reservation. Hoke Smith and John 
K. Shields gave the most southern support to the reservations. 

30 Cong. Record, 66 Cong., first sess., 5112. 
sl New York Times, September 8, 1919. 
32 Cong. Record, 66 Cong., first sess., 5213, 5215. 
38 Cong. Record, 66 Cong., first sess., 6269, 6276. 
Si New York Times, October 22, 1919. 

35 New York Times, October, 23, 1919. 

36 New York Times, October 24, 1919. 

37 See table below for the southern vote on the Lodge reservations. Cong. Record, 66 Cong., 
first sess., 8139, 8437, 8755, 8560-8570, 8730, 8741; Cong. Record, 66 Cong., second sess., 
3242, 3515, 3741, 3748, 3857, 3894, 3955, 4007-4010, 4067, 4333, 4522. See also W. Strull Holt. 
Treaties Defeated By the Senate (Baltimore, 1933), 297-298. 


The North Carolina Historical Review 



Nov., 1919 

Feb. & Mar., 1920 

1. Withdrawal 

Hoke Smith 

Fletcher, Shields, Hoke Smith, 
and Trammell 

2. Article 10 

Hoke Smith 

Shields and Hoke Smith 

3. Mandates 

Shields and 
Hoke Smith 

Culberson, Dial, Fletcher, Gay, 
Glass, Harris, Harrison, Kirby, 
McKellar, Overman, Randsdell, 
Sheppard, Shields, Simmons, 
Hoke Smith, and Trammell 



Shields, Hoke Smith, 
and Trammell 

Shields, Hoke Smith, and 


Monroe doctrine Kirby, Shields, and 

Fletcher, Kirby, Shields, 
Hoke Smith, and Trammell 




Shields and Hoke Smith 


Appontment of 

Shields and 
Hoke Smith 

Fletcher, Kirby, Overman, 
Shields, Hoke Smith, and 



Shields and 
Hoke Smith 

Shields and Hoke Smith 


Expenses of 

Shields and 
Hoke Smith 

Shields and Hoke Smith 



Shields and 
Hoke Smith 

Kirby, Shields, and Hoke Smith 


breaking states 

Shields and 
Hoke Smith 



Illegal acts 


Fletcher and Shields 



Dial, Shields, and 
Hoke Smith 



Dominion votes 

Shields, Hoke Smith 
and Trammell 

, Fletcher, Kirby, Shields, 
Hoke Smith, and Trammell 


Irish self-deter- 

Harris, Harrison, Kirby, 
McKellar, Ransdell, Shields, 
Sheppard, and Ellison D. Smith 




Southern Senators and League of Nations 195 

In a last minute conference on November 17, Wilson informed 
League leader Hitchcock that he would "pocket" the treaty if the 
Senate ratified it with the Lodge reservations, 38 and in a letter to 
the Senate leader the following day he referred to the Lodge reso- 
lution of ratification as a "nullification of the treaty," he asked 
"the friends and supporters of the treaty" to vote it down. 39 The 
Senate voted on the treaty resolution late in the afternoon on 
November 19. The galleries were crowded and the air tense when 
the motion to vote came. 40 

In accordance with Wilson's request the southerners, with the 
exception of Shields and Hoke Smith, voted against the Lodge 
resolution, which was defeated 39 to 55. 41 James A. Reed then 
moved that the vote be reconsidered. The Democrats and irrecon- 
cilables rose up to defeat the Lodge resolution a second time, 41 
to 5 1. 42 It was then that Swanson, ardent League exponent, walk- 
ed over to Lodge and pleaded: "For God's sake, can't something 
be done to save the treaty ?" "Senator the door is closed," replied 
the Massachusetts Senator, "you have done it yourselves." 43 And 
truly the door was closed, for although Lodge allowed a vote on 
the Underwood resolution (without reservations), it was rejected 
38 to 53. 44 At 11 : 10 p.m. a weary Senate adjourned sine die, and 
news of the defeat of Wilson's League sped around the world. 


In two remarkable letters to Wilson, Colonel Edward M. House, 
on November 24 and 27, 1919, advised the President not to men- 
tion the treaty in his annual message, "but return it to the Senate 
as soon as it convenes." House wanted Wilson to keep hands off 
the reservations, but to allow the Democrats to vote for such 
changes as a majority of the Senate might suggest, although they 
might strive to make the reservations as harmless as possible. 

88 New York Times, November 18, 1919. 
38 New York Times, November 20, 1919. 

40 New York Times, November 20, 1919. 

41 Three Democrats, Gore (Oklahoma), Shields, and Hoke Smith, voted for the Lodge 
resolution. Cong. Record, 66 Cong., first sess., 8786. 

42 Six Democrats, including Shields and Hoke Smith from the South, voted for the reso- 
lution. Cong. Record, 66 Cong., first sess., 8802. 

43 New York Times, November 20, 1919. 

44 Hoke Smith and Trammell deserted their southern colleagues to vote against the Under- 
wood resolution. Eight Democrats opposed the resolution. It was the hope of the administra- 
tion, whose strategy was to bring a double vote on the treaty, that enough Republicans 
(mild reservationists ) would vote for the League without change to bring ratification. 
Cong. Record, 66 Cong., first sess., 8803. 

196 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The rest should be left to the Allies. It seemed to House that the 
American people wanted ratification — with or without reserva- 
tions. To the ordinary man the distinction was slight. 45 

Wilson paid no heed to the Texan, and no word concerning the 
treaty came from the White House during the remainder of the 
year. As a matter of fact Wilson was in no condition to give the 
Democrats effective leadership, and the death of Thomas S. Mar- 
tin left the Democrats without any real leader in the Senate. Thi. 
situation was further complicated when Underwood and HitcL 
cock began a struggle for Martin's old position as Democratic 
leader. In mid-December Underwood urged that a compromise be 
effected and gave his support to a set of mild reservations. 46 

Public opinion was not yet ready for America to discard the 
League. On December 19 Hoke Smith reported that fifteen or 
twenty Democratic Senators were willing to enter a non-partisan 
conference of Senators favoring reservations. 47 On the next day 
Underwood proposed a conciliation committee. 48 On December 22 
Lodge conferred with Underwood; 49 four days later a group of 
Republican mild reservationists informed Lodge that they would 
treat directly with the Democrats unless he made progress on the 
treaty; 50 and on January 2, 1920, the press reported that the 
Democrats were ready to compromise through mild reserva- 
tions. 51 The compromise snowball seemed to be well underway, but 
the Underwood-Hitchcock rivalry continued to complicate mat- 
ters. Hitchcock was reluctant to accept reservations before the 
scheduled Democratic caucus of Januray 15, which would choose 
the new leader. He reasoned that the Democrats would be more 
likely to support him if he were continuing to bear the brunt of 
the League fight. 

The month of January, 1920, was high-lighted by constant com- 
promise negotiations between the Senators from the two parties 
and by Woodrow Wilson's Jackson Day letter of January 8, which 
suggested that "the clear and simple way out is to submit it for 
determination at the next election . . . [in] the form of a great and 

45 House thought the treaty would pass if Wilson turned it over to the Senate — "probably in 
a form acceptable to both you [Wilson] and the allies." Charles Seymour (ed.), The Inti- 
mate Papers of Colonel House (Boston and New York, 1926), II, 509-511. 

4 « New York Times, December 17, 1919. 

47 Smith predicted an agreement by January 15, 1920. New York Times, December 20, 1919. 

48 New York Times, December 21, 1919. 
40 New York Times, December 24, 1919. 

50 New York Times, December 27, 1919. 

51 New York Times, Januai-y 3, 1920. Lodge conferred with Swanson on the same day. 

Southern Senators and League of Nations 197 

solemn referendum, . . ." 52 Hoke Smith, McKellar, Swanson, and 
Simmons were southerners who made conciliatory moves during 
this period. The most important of these informal steps was the 
calling of the bi-partisan committee by Lodge at the instigation 
of Le Baron Colt of Rhode Island and Kenneth McKellar of 
Tennessee. 53 McKellar and Simmons were the southerners who 
participated in this conference. Lodge was never very enthusias- 
tic, and finally terminated the meetings in late January. 54 

On January 26 Wilson wrote to Hitchcock that he would accept 
the mild Hitchcock reservations, 55 but the Lodge reservationists 
were encouraged by the appearance of the Grey letter on January 
31 to believe the Allies would agree to the fourteen committee 
reservations. The Democrats were frustrated and looked to the 
White House for guidance. 56 On February 9, 1920, the day the 
Senate officially began a reconsideration of the treaty, the New 
York Times flashed the following headlines: "TREATY UP TO- 

The treaty emerged from the committee on February 10 with 
fifteen reservations, including the new one favoring Irish self- 
determination. The reservations were all voted on and approved 
by the Senate between February 21 and March 18. It is interest- 
ing to note the increase in southern support for the Lodge reser- 
vations. A total of sixty-two southern votes were cast in support 
of the Lodge changes, averaging about four votes per reservation. 
Almost five southerners refrained from voting on each reserva- 
tion for one reason or another. This left only thirteen southern 
votes against each reservation. It is also worth while to point out 

52 New York Times, January 9, 1920. 

On January 3 Hoke Smith invited William H. King of Utah, George E. Chamberlain of 
Oregon, and Park Trammell of Florida to confer with him at his home regarding a com- 

On January 6 John B. Kendrick of Wyoming offered a new plan said to be the work of 
William Jennings Bryan, McKellar, Swansoit, and others. Sponsors of the plan claimed that 
forty-four Democrats would support it. 

Senator Robert L. Owen of Oklahoma led a conference of twenty Democrats on January 
11 which tried to work out an agreement. Southerners Underwood, Dial, McKellar, Harrison, 
and Hoke Smith participated. New York Times, January 4, 7, and 12, 1920. 

53 Maurice H. Darling, "Who Kept the United States out of the League of Nations?" 
Canadian Historical Review X (1929), 199-200. 

54 Henry Cabot Lodge, The Senate and the League of Nations (New York, 1925), 195. 
Lodge issued a statement to the press in which he said that "no final agreement, even to 
submit any changes to their colleagues .... was reached." Apparently the irreconcilables 
helped persuade Lodge. 

55 Cong. Record, 66 Cong., second sess., 2622. 

56 Sir Edward Grey, former British foreign minister, wrote the above-mentioned letter after 
visiting in the United States and conferring with congressional leaders. On February 5 the 
White House released a statement to the effect that Grey had acted without consulting the 
President. Bailey, Wilson and the Great Betrayal, 237-239. 

198 The North Carolina Historical Review 

that sixteen southerners voted in favor of the third reservation 
(mandates), while eight supported the fifteenth reservation 
(Irish self-determination) . 57 

As the vote drew near the press reported, on March 4, that the 
Senate itself felt that the treaty was dead. 58 On March 5 it was 
rumored that the Democrats were looking to Wilson for a decision, 
but that Simmons and others were still trying to work out a com- 
promise on article ten. 59 Taking the cue, Wilson wrote Hitchcock 
on March 8 that the reservations nullified the treaty. "I hear of 
reservationists and mild-reservationists," wrote the President, 
"but I cannot understand the difference between a nullifier and 
a mild nullifier." 60 

The final vote came on March 19, 1920, and despite wavering, 
the southerners voted strongly for the Wilson position. Eighteen 
southern Senators voted against the Lodge resolution, while only 
five Democrats outside the South voted similarly. Sixteen Demo- 
crats reversed their November vote and supported the resolu- 
tion. 61 Three of the first four Democrats to vote left Wilson and 
voted for the treaty ; then it was time for the venerable Culberson 
of Texas to answer yea or nay. If he supported the resolution, a 
stampede toward the treaty might well be started among the 
Democrats. For a moment the highly-esteemed Culberson hesi- 
tated, his face perplexed — then came his "nay." Perhaps the other 
southerners felt as Culberson later told friends he had felt: you 
know, for a moment I "didn't know how to vote." 62 The southern- 
ers and irreconcilables had defeated the Lodge League once again, 
and this would be the last defeat. 


The majority of the southerners in the Senate during the 
League controversy may be termed "Wilsonians," that is they 
sincerely believed in essentially the same kind of League as did 

67 Supra. 

68 New York Times, March 4, 1920. 

69 New York Times, March 6, 1920. 

Simmons was anxious to talk to Wilson about his proposal. In early March Hitchcock wrote 
directly to Wilson urging that he see Simmons. The reply came in Mrs. Wilson's hand- 
writing and said that it would be "folly" to undertake individual action. Apparently Carter 
Glass, good friend of Wilson, was the only Senator to see the President during this period. 
Bailey, Wilson and the Great Betrayal, 256, 258. 

60 New York Times, March 9, 1920. Bailey, Wilson and the Great Betrayal, 260, says Wil- 
son's March letter whipped the wavering Democrats back into line. 

61 The five Democrats who voted with the southerners were Thomas of Colorado, Reed of 
Missouri, Hitchcock of Nebraska, Johnson of South Dakota, and Stanley of Kentucky. Cong. 
Record, 66 Cong., second sess., 4599. 

82 Bailey, Wilson and the Great Betrayal, 267. 

Southern Senators and League of Nations 199 

Wilson, or they were unwilling to take a different stand for politi- 
cal reasons. It is well to remember that forty per cent of the state 
resolutions endorsing the League during 1917-1919 were passed 
by southern states, 63 and that public opinion in the South was al- 
most solidly behind the League. There were eighteen Wilsonians 
at the time of the November vote, 04 and seventeen when the 
March vote came the next year. 65 Thus the southerners main- 
tained virtually the same position throughout the controversy. 

The most vociferous southern Wilsonian, and probably the 
ablest, was John Sharp Williams. He was constantly championing 
Wilson and the League, was not connected with compromise 
negotiations, and approved of only one of the Lodge reservations. 
He poured contempt upon the irreconcilables, and once charged 
the League opponents with finding in the treaty "Sun specks, 
mare's nests, new discoveries of presidential sins !" 66 Williams' 
position was as extreme as that of Wilson, and he seemed also to 
have caught some of the President's idealism. As early as Decem- 
ber, 1918, he said: 

My passion is peace, and I am so fond of peace that I will fight for 
it . . . whenever it is necessary or possible. ... I do not believe 
that even my own country has the right to be the judge in its own 
quarrel, and to avoid peace when peace can be brought about with 
self-respect. 67 

This was as far as Wilson himself was willing to go. 

Other vigorous Wilsonians were Joseph T. Robinson, who 
frequently took Wilson's enemies to task, Kenneth McKellar, 
whose part in the futile compromise negotiations were large, 68 
Claude A. Swanson, Foreign Relations Committee member and 
one of the drafters of its minority report, and Carter Glass, late 
arrival on the Senate floor. All of these Wilsonians urged ratifi- 
cation of the treaty as it came from Paris. Oscar W. Underwood 
and Furnifold M. Simmons, influencial Democrats and Wilsonians, 

63 New York Times, April 28, 1919. 

6i Thomas S. Martin, who had died a few days before, probably would have been a 
Wilsonian. Cong. Record, 66 Cong., first sess., 8786, 8802. 

65 Cong. Record, 66 Cong., second sess., 4599. Two southerners, Ransdell and Fletcher, 
shifted over from their November position. Glass was a new Wilsonian. 

66 Cong. Record, 66 Cong., first sess., 3235. 

67 Cong. Record, 65 Cong., third sess., 198 (December 6, 1918). 

68 In a floor speech on December 30, 1918, McKellar asked: "Why should we receive a part 
of the fruits of victory now and postpone the remainder [League] until some other time?" 
Cong. Record, 65 Cong., third sess., 918-926. 

200 The North Carolina Historical Review 

supported the Wilson treaty, but said little before the November 
vote ; both were later prominent in conciliation moves. 

At least six southern Wilsonians took no part in the treaty de- 
bate, and several others made only one speech. 69 Some of the 
southern supporters were very idealistic and sometimes a little 
naive. Edward J. Gay spoke of the sovereignty of small nations 
being assured ; 70 Joseph E. Ransdell saw a great spiritual regen- 
eration sweeping over the world and the end of secret diplomacy 
and alliances; Pat Harrison brought forward ten ways in which 
the League opponents were deceiving the American people. 71 

Several southerners made able arguments for the Wilson posi- 
tion. Duncan U. Fletcher defended the mandatory system, point- 
ing out that although the United States would share or give up 
some right to independent action, the sacrifice would be worth 
making if the fundamental policies were accomplished. 72 Morris 
Sheppard stated that the League had been drafted with careful 
regard for the Constitution, that American participation would 
always remain within the control of Congress insofar as the people 
desired participation, and that legislation required to make and 
keep a treaty operative must come from Congress. 73 Oscar W. 
Underwood, like Woodrow Wilson, argued that Article Ten was 
the heart of the League, and that mutual defense of nations was 
the greatest principle of the covenant. 74 

It appears almost impossible to determine just where the con- 
victions of the southern Wilsonians stopped and just where Wil- 
son's influence took over. One thing is certain : these men backed 
up their President all the way, and they universally praised him 
in the Senate. It would seem that most of them had strong con- 
victions in favor of the Wilson covenant, but that the people back 
home exercised important influences in the casting of the south- 
ern votes. Southern people, including their Congressmen, were 
strongly attached to Wilson. After all it was he who had led them 
to their only victory in national politics in over half a century. 
They could not easily desert him. 

60 John H. Bankhead, Thomas S. Martin, William J. Harris, Ellison D. Smith, Nathaniel B. 
Dial, and Charles A. Culberson made no Senate speeches on the treaty. 

70 Cong. Record, 66 Cong., first sess., 3313-3316. 

71 Cong. Record, 66 Cong., first sess., 3398-3403. 

Some of Harrison's charges were that Great Britain would dominate the League, colored 
peoples would control it, the papacy would run it, and it would take away the 
rights of American citizens to regulate their own domestic affairs, Cong. Record, 66 
Cong, first sess. 2940-2946. 

72 Cong. Record, 66 Cong., first sess., 3096-3100 (July 24, 1919). 

73 Cong. Record, 66 Cong., first sess., 1431 (June 20, 1919). 

74 New York Times, July 16, 1919. 

Southern Senators and League of Nations 201 


There was only one southern Senator in 1919-1920 who may be 
called an irreconcilable, and he was not consistent in his opposition 
to the League. The name of John K. Shields, who had supported 
the Wilson policies until 1918, was frequently linked with the 
Lodge reservationists and occasionally with the Republican irre- 
concilables. In 1919 he supported ten of the Lodge reservations, 
voted for the Lodge resolution of ratification, and opposed the 
Underwood resolution. 75 Shields felt that the League covenant 
should be amended so that a government like the British Com- 
monwealth would have only one vote. 76 He strongly believed that 
the United States should reserve the right to decide questions 
affecting its honor or vital interests. "I say it is a ignominious 
proposition," Shields argued, "that we should submit our honor, 
or a matter of vital interest of our Nation, to a foreign council to 
be inquired of. We will neither take their advice nor submit to 
their arbitration as long as we are a free, sovereign, and inde- 
pendent Nation." 77 

This might well have been an irreconcilable talking, but Shields 
was reservationist enough to support fourteen of the Lodge 
amendments in 1920. Then for some inexplicable reason the 
Tennessean reversed himself completely and voted like his south- 
ern colleagues against the Lodge resolution of ratification. 78 It 
seems probable that Shields was a genuine isolationist and that 
he saw the possibility of keeping his political fenses in repair at 
home by joining the other southerners in defending Wilson's 
treaty, while at the same time voting against American entrance 
into any league. 

Thomas W. Hardwick and James K. Vardaman, though not re- 
elected to the Sixty-sixth Congress, seemed headed for the irre- 
concilable camp. Hardwick raised thirty-three solemn questions 
concerning the League 79 and declared that it would likely lead the 

75 Cong. Record, 66 Cong., first sess., 8786, 8803. 

76 Cong. Record, 66 Cong., first sess., 7679-7680. He offered an amendment to the committee 
reservation to this effect. 

77 Cong. Record, 66 Cong., first sess., 8639 (November 17, 1919). 

78 On the day before the final vote Shields had assumed a cautious position. "I think there 
is a great deal in this treaty that neither the Senate nor the entire treaty making power 
has a right to do." Cong. Record, 66 Cong., second sess., 4505. 

79 Typical Hardwick questions were these: "Are you willing for this republic to become a 
vassal state?" "Are the American people incapable of self-government?" "Do you believe in 
the fairies?" "Is there anyone in this country ... so base as not to be free?" Cong. Record, 
65 Cong., third sess., 4704. 

202 The North Carolina Historical Review 

United States to war. He believed that the League would violate 
the American Constitution by encroaching upon the treaty-mak- 
ing power of Congress and limiting the right of that body to de- 
clare war. There "ought not to be coupled with the conclusion of 
peace," argued Hardwick, "any other proposition on this earth 
whatever as an international legislative rider." 80 Vardaman 
thought the people should decide the fate of the League, but that 
the government did not have the authority to make treaties 
superior to the Constitution. 81 


If Shields is included, there were three southern reservationists 
in November, 1919, and five in March, 1920. The arch-southern 
reservationist, the man who supported the Lodge reservations 
second only to Shields, and the southerner who brought forward 
the most concrete proposals was Hoke Smith. 82 He consistently 
spoke and voted for ratification — but only with reservations. 
Even before the President first reached Paris Smith let it be 
known that he considered it entirely proper for the Senate to give 
its "advice" on pending treaties. 83 

Some people said that Smith's independent course during the 
treaty fight resulted from the Smith-Wilson feud of many years' 
standing. They pointed out how both men as young lawyers hung 
out their "law shingles" in Atlanta at about the same time. Smith 
was a "hustler" and prospered, but Wilson, though a gentleman 
with an abundance of dignity, found few clients. 84 Be that as it 
may, Smith steadfastly claimed that he believed in the cooperation 
of nations to preserve peace 85 but that he wanted the United 
States to enter this League with open eyes. 

On the afternoon of October 2, 1919, he rose in the Senate and 
proposed seven reservations to the League. 86 The Smith reserva- 
tions were practically all duplicated by those of Lodge. On October 
22 Smith informed reporters that the committee reservations 

80 Cong. Record, 65 Cong., third sess., 4699. 

81 Cong. Record, 66 Cong., third sess., 3657. 

88 Smith voted for eight of the Lodge reservations in 1919 and for ten in 1920. 

83 Cong. Record, 65 Cong., third sess., 77. 

84 Wilson later described Smith to Colonel House as an "ambulance chaser." House insisted 
that his vote was important though. Bailey, Wilson and the Great Betrayal, 13. 

86 New York Times, February 16, 1919. 

86 New York Times, October 3, 1919; Cong. Record, 66 Cong., first sess., 6271-6272. 

Southern Senators and League of Nations 203 

would form a "working basis" from which the Senate "could pick 
what reservations it desired." 87 

Smith stated that he desired early ratification but that even 
though the League could help preserve peace, "it could not be 
hoped that it would help if its very provisions left a certainty of 
dispute among its members as to what it meant." 88 "If a treaty 
contains doubtful provisions," continued the Georgian, "they 
should be made clear in advance of execution. If a treaty contains 
provisions which we do not expect our Nation in good faith to 
perform, we should frankly so declare before executing the 
treaty." 89 

He was in favor of a League based on an organized moral force, 
but he was critical of Article Ten, which he characterized as a 
pledge of "lead and sabers." 90 He desired that United States 
representatives to the League be responsible not to the President 
but to Congress. 91 He was perhaps the only southerner who sin- 
cerely believed in most of the Lodge reservations. 

Although several other southern Senators were reported to be in 
favor of mild reservations from time to time, 92 and although Sim- 
mons and Underwood worked hard to achieve a compromise which 
would have included reservations, there were only three other 
southerners, Trammell, Fletcher, and Ransdell, who were willing 
to support the Lodge resolution with its fifteen reservations. 93 
The Floridians Trammel and Fletcher each voted for five of the 
Lodge reservations in 1920, though it is significant that neither 
supported the Lodge change to Article Ten, the heart of the 
League. 94 William F. Kirby of Arkansas voted for five of the 
Lodge reservations in 1920 but refused to support the Lodge 
resolution of ratification ; Joseph E. Ransdell of Louisiana voted 
for only one of the Committee reservations (Irish self-determina- 
tion) , but he gave his support to final ratification. 

87 New York Times, October 23, 1919. 

88 Cong. Record, 66 Cong., first sess., 6271-6272. 

89 Cong. Record, 66 Cong., first sess., 6271. 

90 Cong. Record, 66 Cong., first sess., 8278. 

91 Cong. Record, 66 Cong., first sess., 8059. 

92 For example see New York Times, September 7, 1919, which quoted Simmons, Overman, 
and Ellison D. Smith as disposed to favor mild reservations. 

93 An interesting parliamentary rules discussion occurred preceding the November vote on 
ratification when Underwood ineffectively argued that the Senate could not consider the 
committee reservations before the resolution of ratification. Cong. Record, 66 Cong., first 
sess., 8019-8020 (November 6, 1919). 

94 Fletcher had stated a year before the final rejection of the treaty that despite the fact 
that he was "a strong believer in the League," there "should be no delay in ratifying the 
general peace treaty" — "I believe that time will be saved and the settling of the whole 
issue expedited by the separation of the two matters." New York Times, March 13, 1919. 

204 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Hoke Smith and Shields, then, were the most extreme of the 
southern reservationists, while Trammell and Fletcher desired 
reservations before ratification. These men were a small minority 
among the southerners, and their actions seem even more inde- 
pendent in view of the steadfast position of a great majority of 
their colleagues. 


In the final analysis it appears that partisanship defeated the 
League in America. 95 Lodge hated Wilson and was quick to seize 
upon the League as an instrument to humiliate him. The Repub- 
licans followed their leaders, most of whom were reservationists 
or irreconcilables, while enough Democrats stuck by Wilson to pre- 
vent ratification with reservations. Sectionalism was also a factor 
in the League failure. The Republicans distrusted Wilson because 
he was a southerner, because southerners were in his cabinet, 
and because southern Democrats were in control of Congress. 
They believed Wilson was conspiring to aid the South. 96 Wilson for 
his part was unwilling to compromise the issue, and regardless 
of his sturdy southern support was unable to win. 

The fact is that the South and her Senators, just as other 
regions and their Senators, was more than a little confused and 
ignorant regarding the League. But unlike any other part of the 
country, it was glad to accept Wilson's guidance and to go down 
the line with him. As the Greenville (South Carolina) Piedmont 
put it : "The South is heart and soul for the Treaty. It hasn't read 
it, but it has read some of the speeches of them darned Republi- 
cans." 97 The southern Senators might have read the treaty as well 
as speeches of the "darned Republicans," but they too were heart 
and soul for the treaty. 

The southern Senators were responsible at the last instance 
for defeating the League in the Senate, but they were more the 
victims of fate than the authors of premediated action. If the 
efforts of any one of the southern leaders to arrange a compro- 

95 Thomas A. Bailey, Wilson and the Great Betrayal, 39, points out that where the Demo- 
cratic party was strong the League was strong and vice versa. 

96 This is the opinion of Bailey, Wilson and the Great Betrayal, 39. 

The Greenville (South Carolina) Piedmont asserted that "The Senate's chief objection to 
the League idea is that "Wilson is a Democrat." Quoted in Bailey, Wilson and the Great 
Betrayal, 42. 

97 Quoted in Bailey, Wilson and the Great Betrayal, 48. 

Southern Senators and League of Nations 205 

mise had been successful, it appears that the southerners would 
have risen in a body, in defiance of Wilson even, to support it. 
Wilson had said of the League : 

The stage is set, the destiny disclosed. It has come about by no 
plan of our conceiving, but by the hand of God, who led us into 
this way. We cannot turn back. We can only go forward, with 
lifted eyes and freshened spirit, to follow the vision. It was of this 
that we dreamed at our birth. America shall in truth show the 
way. The light streams upon the path ahead, and nowhere else. 98 

The southern Senators, with minor exceptions, were eager to 
follow this vision, but the path ahead, through no great fault of 
their own, was not to include the League. 


Cong. Record, 66 Cong., first sess., 2336-2339 (July 10, 1919) 




By Christopher Crittenden 

The forty-eighth annual session of the State Literary and His- 
torical Association was held at the Hotel Sir Walter in Raleigh, 
Friday, December 3, 1948. 1 Meeting concurrently with the Assoc- 
iation were the North Carolina Folk-Lore Society, the North 
Carolina State Art Society, the North Carolina Society for the 
Preservation of Antiquities, the North Carolina Society of 
County Historians, the Executive Committee of the North Caro- 
lina Symphony Society, and the Society of Mayflower Descen- 
dants in the State of North Carolina. At the morning meeting of 
the Association, with President Alice M. Baldwin of Durham 
presiding, Dr. George W. Paschal of Wake Forest read a paper, 
"The Educational Convention of February, 1873, and the Com- 
mon Schools" ; 2 Mr. George M. Stephens of Asheville read a 
paper, "Southern Authors Reveal a Changing South" ; and Miss 
Mary C. Wiley of Winston-Salem gave a review of North Caro- 
lina books and authors of the year. 

At the evening meeting, with Dr. Robert Lee Humber of 
Greenville presiding, Dr. Baldwin delivered the presidential ad- 
dress and Dr. Douglas L. Rights of Winston-Salem, governor of 
the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of North 
Carolina, gave a talk in which he announced that the annual 
Mayflower Cup award had been made to Dr. Charles S. Sydnor 
of Duke University for his book, The Growth of Southern 
Sectionalism, 1819-1848. The meeting was brought to a close by 
an address by Mr. John W. Vandercook of New York on the 
subject, "Is the Marshall Plan Working?" 

It is believed that the session was unusually interesting and 
stimulating, and all the papers and addresses for which copy was 

1 For further information regarding this session, see The North Carolina Historical Review, 
XXVI (January, 1949), no. 1. 

2 The title of this paper appeared on the program, "Development of Interest in the Common 
Schools of North Carolina, 1860-1890." The title given above, however, is the title Dr. Paschal 
gave the paper when he revised it for publication. 


Introduction 207 

prepared are published in the pages that follow. The only omis- 
sion is the address of Mr. Vandercook, which the audience found 
informative and worth-while but which cannot be included with 
the other papers because the speaker used only notes and did not 
write out his address. 


By George W. Paschal 

With your good will, I am sure, I am undertaking to discuss 
only a small part of the subject, "Development of Interest in the 
Common Schools of North Carolina, 1868-1890," as announced 
on the program. Fortunately, it is not necessary that the whole 
subject be treated, since Dr. Edgar W. Knight has already ably 
discussed it in his excellent Public School Education in North 
Carolina. I am only adding some supplementary matter gathered 
from sources which seem not to have been available to Dr. 
Knight or Dr. M. C. S. Noble or to others who have written on our 
educational history. Of several such untreated topics, I discuss 
only one, the first in chronological order, the Educational Con- 
vention which met in the First Baptist Church of Raleigh on 
Tuesday, February 11, 1873, and continued through the Wednes- 
day and Thursday following. I venture to declare that this was 
one of the most important educational meetings ever held in 
North Carolina, possibly the most important. And this is true as 
regards both the discussions in the meeting and the results. 

The convention was designed primarily to open a campaign to 
raise $100,000 as an endowment for Wake Forest College, but 
in issuing the call for the meeting the president of the College, 
Dr. W. M. Wingate, said: "It will be observed that the call is 
not for a single object — the endowment of Wake Forest College — 
but the design is to move, if possible, the whole denomination in 
the State to an interest in every form of education." 

It was of free public schools that Wingate was thinking, and 
he made it clear in numerous statements in the Biblical Recorder 
in the weeks preceeding the meeting that he was convinced that 
the welfare and even the continued existence of Wake Forest 
College and other colleges of the state depended upon the estab- 
lishment of good elementary schools. In the Biblical Recorder of 
December 12, 1872, he said : "The movement for the endowment 
of Wake Forest College must not begin for that alone, and cer- 
tainly it must not end there. A deep interest in one enterprise 


Educational Convention and Common Schools 209 

will naturally awaken thought on the general subject of educa- 
tion. But this incidental effect is not enough. Our need is too 
serious ; our want is too pressing. We must awaken our interest 
in the school house and the school master. Our apathy in this 
direction is coming to be a grave matter. What can the colleges 
do without more and better neighborhood schools ? And what can 
these last accomplish without a spirit of education among our 
people? Who can speak? Who can write? Let them to the work. 
We must increase the number and efficiency of our schools : boys 
and girls must be trained. All along through our borders from 
the seaboard to the mountains EDUCATION must be the 

Again in a later issue of the Recorder Wingate said: "The 
teachers of our male and female schools must come (to the Con- 
vention) for the movement would fail of half its effect, if a deep- 
er interest in education itself was not promoted. . . . The active 
leading laymen must come, for they may tell us how to form and 
establish schools in the neighborhoods. While carrying forward 
the great movement of endowing our College and thus giving 
us means of enlarging and perfecting plans for the highest cul- 
ture, we must not forget that the true foundation upon which 
high school and college instruction is built, is the perfection of 
earlier and preparatory training in the local schools scattered 
through our towns and rural districts. Can there not be an inter- 
est awakened in all these directions at once? Can we not carry 
them together as parts of a great whole?" 

As one reads these words of Wingate one can understand why 
his contemporaries so often spoke of his wisdom. A further 
manifestation of his wisdom was his choice of men he associated 
with himself on the committee whose duty it was to prepare a 
program and provide for the Educational Convention. Among 
those on that committee were two able and practical business 
men of Raleigh, W. H. Heck and John G. Williams, who a few 
years later showed their interest in education by erecting the 
building which today houses the Wake Forest College Library 
and its School of Law, the first important building erected on any 
North Carolina college campus after the War between the 
States. Another was Ex-Governor W. W. Holden, then Raleigh 
postmaster, through whose influence the building of the present 

210 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Raleigh postoffice was begun. Others on that committee were 
Dr. T. H. Pritchard, pastor of the Raleigh Baptist Church ; J. H. 
Mills, then editor of the Biblical Recorder, and later the founder 
of two orphan asylums, the Oxford Orphanage and the Baptist 
Orphanage at Thomasville, now called "Mills Home" in his 
honor ; W. T. Brooks, president of the Baptist State Convention ; 
W. H. Avera ; and J. L. Stewart. 

It was an excellent program that this committee prepared — 
seven meetings — one on Tuesday evening, February 11, 1873, 
and three each on Wednesday and Thursday, and every meeting 
was to be addressed on some live educational topic by men of 
recognized ability. All friends of education in the state were 
urged to attend. The railroads co-operated by offering half -fares. 

In order to recommend the educational meeting, Dr. Pritchard 
had this to say in the Biblical Recorder two weeks before its 
assembling : 

Many of our wisest and best men are much interested in our 
Convention. Ex-Governor Graham [then in charge of the Pea- 
body Fund in North Carolina] assured the writer a few days 
since, that so far as other educational interests were concerned, 
North Carolina is in worse condition than she has been in forty 
years, and that he was profoundly interested in the meeting on 
that account. Other public men have expressed much gratifica- 
tion at the calling of the Convention and have promised to attend 
and take part in the deliberations. 

Dr. Barnas Sears will be with us. He is the agent of the Pea- 
body Fund, and has resided at Staunton, Virginia, for the past 
three years. Dr. Sears is one of the most venerable and striking- 
looking men I have ever seen, and is regarded by all who know 
him as one of the wisest, best educated, and most irreproachable 
men in America. His ability and especially his experience will 
be of great service to us in our meeting. He was at one time head 
of the public school system in Massachusetts, and resigned the 
presidency of Brown University to take his present position 
[with the Peabody Fund.] 

Dr. Sears had been secured to speak on the public schools. For 
the discussion of that topic, the best place on the program, 
Wednesday evening, was given. To the meeting of that evening 
on special invitation came the members of the two houses of the 
General Assembly, then in session. Following the plan of the 
exercises for all meetings, the discussion began with a paper. 

Educational Convention and Common Schools 211 

This was by Rev. N. B. Cobb, a graduate of the University of 
North Carolina, a prominent Baptist minister, an accurate 
writer on historical topics, and one of the state's best scholars and 
clearest thinkers. The subject of his paper was "The Present 
Condition of Education in North Carolina ; What can be done by 
the Baptists to improve it?" 

The condition of education as Dr. Cobb revealed it was appall- 
ing. Doubtless there was a startled look in the eyes of every 
person in that great audience when the reader, quoting from 
the figures of the United States Census of 1870 and the report 
of Alexander Mclver, Superintendent of Public Instruction, made 
such statements as these : "We have in this State 268,000 children 
of school age, 182,690 white, 85,239 colored, and 396 Indian, and 
less than 58,000 of all these, less than 1 in 4% [we would say 
today, less than 22 per cent] are going to public and private 
schools." What was even more startling, doubtless, to many in 
that audience, was Dr. Cobb's statement that a larger per cent 
of colored than of white children were shown by the Census of 
1870 to be attending school in North Carolina. Especially dis- 
quieting to the Baptists present was his demonstration that as 
many as 50,000 of the 100,000 members of Baptists churches in 
North Carolina, full one-half, could not read and write. And 
then he went on to say: 

If you can look on these figures and not see the necessity for 
arousing our people on the subject of education, you can do more 
than I can do. Then ask yourselves, if the Baptists have in their 
ranks 50,000 persons who cannot read and write, ought they not 
to be waked up, thoroughly waked up to the importance of educa- 

This was only a glance at the appalling educational conditions 
of North Carolina as Dr. Cobb found them portrayed in the 
United States Census and the reports of Superintendent of Pub- 
lic Instruction Alexander Mclver. 

I must stop here a minute to pay due tribute to that able and 
faithful, and courageous public servant, Superintendent Alex- 
ander Mclver. A graduate of the University of North Carolina in 
the class of 1853, he had served on the faculty both of his alma 
mater and of Davidson College as professor of mathematics. 

212 The North Carolina Historical Review 

In September, 1871, Governor Caldwell appointed him to the 
office of Superintendent of Public Instruction in place of S. S. 
Ashley, resigned, and he continued in office until January 1, 
1875, when — shame to the party in whose creed I was suckled — 
he was displaced by a man who proved to be an embezzler. Dur- 
ing Mclver's years of service he had to struggle against the in- 
difference and even the hostility of many of the state's most 
prominent and influential men, and to suffer also from lack of 
co-operation. He received reports from only forty-six counties in 
1872 and only sixty-three in 1873. But he never relaxed in his 
arduous labors for the schools. He was able too. His reports as 
Superintendent of Public Instruction will challenge comparison 
with any other public documents ever issued by the state. 

To return now to Dr. Cobb. As announced, the first part of his 
paper discussed the condition of education in North Carolina. 
In the second part he sought to answer the question, "What can 
be done by the Baptists about it?" That something should be done 
was agreed to by all who heard that paper. Among those was the 
famous Josiah Turner, Jr., then editor of the Daily Sentinel, who 
said editorially on February 16: "Our entire state should be 
awaked to the real state of things; our best men should take 
the field and our best minds should work out a system that can 
be operated for diffusing the blessings of intelligence to the 
citizens of the state." 

Dr. Cobb, however, did not forget that he was in a Baptist 
meeting, and he talked very straight to the Baptists, putting the 
obligation on them, and saying: "It is plain that something 
should be done — done by the Baptists — and done speedily by the 
Baptists to improve the present condition of education among 

"What is that something which should be done?" asked Cobb. 
I propose to give in outline his answer to that question, for it 
proved to be a program of action the Baptists have followed from 
that moment, and which immediately proved effective in creating 
interest in education. It was followed by the numerous preachers 
and teachers, both in academies and Sunday schools, editors of 
papers, and progressive laymen and women who returned from 
that educational convention to their work in all sections of the 
state. It was followed by the organized workers in the campaign 

Educational Convention and Common Schools 213 

for the endowment of Wake Forest College, who went forth soon 
after that convention and sought to reach every Baptist associ- 
ation, every church, and every individual Baptist in North Caro- 
lina. It was probably the greatest educational campaign ever 
conducted in North Carolina. 

Here are Cobb's proposals, for the most part in his own 
language : 

1. Create a public interest among our people in favor of general 
education. . . . Let the voice of the living minister be heard in 
every village and hamlet, in every church and Sunday school 
from Dare to Cherokee, setting forth the imperative necessity 
for an educated church membership as well as an educated 

Let those who can read take the Biblical Recorder, one of our 
most valuable educators and the cheapest, and read it to those 
who cannot read. 

2. Establish and sustain Sunday schools in every church and 
secure the attendance of every Baptist in the Sunday school 
either as teacher or as scholar. In no other way can we readily 
reach the adult illiterates in our churches. Let every one of them 
— the illiterates — be impressed with the idea that it is his Chris- 
tian duty to learn to read that he may study God's word for 

3. Encourage common schools. We are impelled to this by 
patriotism and self-interest as well as by Christianity. In a gov- 
ernment like ours, where every citizen is invested with the right 
of suffrage, and may aspire to the dignity of a ruler, every 
citizen should have the advantage of an education. 

Such in brief was Dr. Cobb's great paper, but many of the 
people of the state were able soon to read it in its entirety, for 
it was published not only in the Biblical Recorder, but also in a 
number of other papers of the state, sometimes with statements 
of editorial approval, and propositions of their own, such as 

1. Let the friends of learning see that a school is put in reach 
of every child of suitable age to attend. 

2. Let us vote an increase of taxation to sustain public schools 
all the year. 

214 The North Carolina Historical Review 

3. Let papers publish articles and public men deliver ad- 
dresses on education and show the evils of ignorance and the 
benefits of learning. 1 

All this with reference to Dr. Cobb's paper. However, that 
paper was not intended to be the main feature of the program 
of that evening. The people were there to hear the great educa- 
tor of international reputation, Dr. Barnas Sears. It is not re- 
corded what he said, but when he was done, there were a dozen 
men on their feet wanting to be heard. As it was late, further 
discussion was postponed until the next day, when the considera- 
tion of the subject was continued in all three of the meetings, 
taking much of the time assigned to other important topics. Dr. 
Sears was present at them all, ready to answer questions. To the 
evening meeting at seven o'clock came Daniel Moreau Bar- 
ringer, former United States Ambassador to Spain, and at that 
time chairman of the State Democratic Executive Committee. He 
came for the express purpose of endorsing the statements of Dr. 
Sears in favor of public schools. 

But the matter did not end there. We have seen that the mem- 
bers of the legislature were invited and attended the meeting on 
Wednesday night. The next day both houses invited Dr. Sears 
to address them in joint session on Friday night at seven-thirty 
o'clock. Less than two weeks later, on February 26, 1873, they 
ratified an entirely new education law. 2 Superintendent Alex- 
ander Mclver considered this new law a great improvement. In 
one respect, surely, it was a great improvement, for it increased 
the tax assessment for public schools twenty-three per cent, from 
six and two-thirds cents to eight and one-third cents on the hun- 
dred dollars valuation, and provided that a much larger per cent 
of the poll tax should go to the public school fund. In two years 
the number of children in the public schools and the amount ex- 
pended on them were three times as large as they had been. 

Probably as a new manifestation of the interest excited by the 
Educational Convention in February was a second State Educa- 
tional Convention, called by the State Board of Education, which 
assembled in Raleigh in July of the same year, and took measures 
looking to the reopening of the State University and also for 

1 Biblical Recorder, May 12, 1873. 

2 Public Laws of North Carolina, 1872-7S, chap. xc. 

Educational Convention and Common Schools 215 

furthering the interest in the public schools. Of this convention 
Dr. Knight has written. I say nothing more than that many who 
had a part in the February convention had a part in this July 
convention also. In fact the demand for the reopening of the 
State University was violent in the February convention, as it 
had been in the Biblical Recorder long before. During all these 
years the columns of this most widely circulated paper in the 
state were freely used by the alumni and other friends of the 
University in their efforts to save it and have it restored to its 
former status. In it all they had the lively sympathy of the editor, 
the redoubtable Jack Mills, who with characteristic vigor joined 
in the fight. He was outraged when a part of the campus was 
lost, and it was due to him as much as to any other person that 
the entire University plant was not sold for conversion into a 
denominational institution. He was quick to see that danger and 
quick to fight it. 

By George Myers Stephens 

Those of you who secretly or openly practice the vice of book 
collecting should take heed of the place it might lead you — to the 
platform if not to the scaffold. 

The vice which landed me on this platform was just a mild one 
— trying to find all the books on pioneers in the southern moun- 
tains. By chance I received the leaflet of a little-known Kentucky 
publishing house announcing a facsimile of the Filson edition 
of Daniel Boone's narrative. Price only a dollar fifty. 

This happy discovery raised the speculation as to how many 
other book collectors — and buyers of new books as well — might 
welcome a bulletin on books published in the South, especially 
those not mentioned in the national book reviews. A little en- 
couragement from book publishing friends fanned the idea into 
action, and so The Southern Packet was launched. What served 
most to grease the runways was not having to pay cash for the 
printing, since it was done in my own publishing plant. 

In its June, 1945, issue, The Packet's purpose was stated in 
these words: 

"The Southern Packet sets forth on its maiden voyage this 
month to do one thing : to make southern books easy to find. 

"The Packet grew out of individual efforts to find what books 
are being published in and about the South. We are delighted to 
discover the number and variety of books which form ever 
widening streams of thinking, writing and publishing below the 
Mason and Dixon line. 

"But like most rivers of the South, the streams of good books 
from the growing southern university presses, publishing houses 
and private printers have flowed their separate courses, each 
southerner knowing little of the other's achievements. 

"The Southern Packet proposes to travel these publishing 
courses, bringing in the good news. It proposes to make easy the 
finding and buying of books on the Southern Region. It proposes 
to act as a clearing house on notices of books published, to print 
competent reviews of books of regional interest and to present 


Southern Authors Reveal a Changing South 217 

as rapidly as possible a complete bibliography of recently pub- 
lished works on the South." 

It is interesting to discover that this idea of a meeting of 
minds through the printed page was beautifully achieved in vol- 
ume I of the State Historical Commission's publications. Cover- 
ing the period from this association's organization in 1900, 
through the year 1905, volume I brings together the thoughts of 
a dynamic new generation of North Carolinians. Fifty-two con- 
tributions are listed, each from the pen of a man or woman who 
had a part in our state's progress during the past fifty years. 

Edward P. Moses heads the list, followed by F. A. Olds, Fran- 
cis D. Winston, and Clarence H. Poe. Soon follow two governors : 
Glenn on industrial progress and Aycock on education. Kemp 
P. Battle writes on "The Rebirth of the University ," W. C. 
Smith on "The North Carolina State and Industrial College," 
and E. W. Sikes on "The Genesis of Wake Forest College." Last 
comes Stephen B. Weeks' description of his notable collection of 
North Caroliniana and R. D. W. Connor's report on Captain 
Ashe's Biographical History of North Carolina. In a striking 
fashion this one volume brings into focus the cultural resources 
of a people ready to move forward. That this meeting of minds 
was followed by half a century of unusual progress is now a 
matter of history. 

But when, forty years later, The Southern Packet proposed to 
aid each month such a meeting of minds for a whole region with 
similar conditions and problems, one friendly newspaper editor 
questioned the wisdom of any project which might continue to 
make the South conscious of itself. This is a fair question. It 
could be answered best by reviewing the various regions of the 
United States. 

He would see New England with its metropolis at Boston, a 
meeting place not only of commerce but also of ideas. He would 
see for the Middle Atlantic states the same sort of focal point for 
ideas in New York. For the Mid-West he would see Chicago, 
for the Far West San Francisco. But in the South he would see 
no metropolis. Instead, he would see scores of smaller cities and 
towns, scattered over an area suggesting the back of an out- 
spread human hand. From the lofty central knuckles of the Ap- 
palachian Highlands the great land segments and their valleys 

218 The North Carolina Historical Review 

stretch southward and eastward like fingers to the seaport cities 
around the rim of the region. No one undisputed crossroads of 
commerce, no one center of education, no one dominant metro- 
politan newspaper to bind the ideas of the region together as 
an articulate part of the nation. 

Perhaps our editor might say that until the South catches up 
with the rest of the nation, every legitimate means, including 
regional publications, must be used to bring the best thinking 
of the region into focus on the task of getting from where we are 
to where we should be. 

This focusing of ideas is successfully going on already in 
special fields. Bankers, sociologists, doctors, historians have 
their regional journals. One native North Carolinian is publish- 
ing in Atlanta ten trade journals ranging from jewelry to paper 

It is the layman of the Southern region, the people who must 
pay the taxes and make the public decisions, who need a clearing 
house for ideas. And that is the need which The Southern Packet 
seeks to serve. 

The first cargo for The Packet, and still one of the most im- 
portant, consisted of reviews of the good historical, literary, and 
social studies from the university presses of nearly every state in 
the South. Under the leadership of such men as Howard W. 
Odum, the South has measured, classified, scrutinized, and in- 
wardly digested itself as no other part of the world ever has. In 
addition, scores of smaller studies and pamphlets, novels, books 
of poetry, and privately printed titles deserve brief description 
each month in classified lists which are accumulated into a book- 
list supplement each December. In three and a half years the 
total of titles reported will approach a thousand. 

The experiment of surveying occasionally a special field such 
as library service, southern books, or politics has met with such 
favorable response that it will be continued. Because the per- 
sonalities of authors and other creative thinkers can mirror the 
region as truly as facts, The Packet has been experimenting 
cautiously with personal sketches, the subjects thus far being 
Thomas Wolfe, Olive Tilford Dargan, and Carl Sandburg. Fields 
of information just being developed include reading outlines for 
students and clubs, reporting of social innovations and changes, 

Southern Authors Reveal a Changing South 219 

and reporting of research in progress of interest to the business 
man. A monthly column reports authors' work nearing com- 

The Packet's circulation to subscribers has been built on the 
conservative theory that the real measure of its value is the num- 
ber of people and institutions willing to pay for it. It has grown 
past its first thousand subscribers. The largest single group is 
laymen, about equally divided between men and women. Libraries 
rank next, followed by several professional groups, publishing 
houses, and colleges. North Carolina leads in number of sub- 
scribers, followed by states of the upper South, then the lower 
South, then New York and Pennsylvania. Altogether, thirty- 
nine states are represented. A continued upward change in circu- 
lation is naturally the main change desired by the publisher from 
this changing South. 

Now to look at the changes in the South since the turn of the 
century. Though we are still largely a rural people, the tractor 
and its brood of farm machinery enable fewer farmers to feed 
us and clothe us. So our growing farm families provide three 
times the youths needed, and they turn toward the towns. For 
every boy and girl who stays on the farm, twice as many enter 
the adventure of a new way of life in town. Whereas for the 
nation the growth of towns has been at a fairly steady rate, the 
growth of towns in the South has been at three times the national 

Out of this urban movement comes the second great change, 
a rise in the standard of living. The physical comforts and the 
desirability of having more of them are part of the adventure 
of moving to town. 

And out of the desire to insure more comforts and pleasures 
of a material sort for each child in this new adventure comes the 
third change : fewer children. The good old family of eight or ten 
is a matter of remark in town, as it was common place in the 

Why was it possible to leave the farm in the South? Because 
factories wanted more workers, and stores wanted clerks to 
serve factory workers. In the growth of industry lies the founda- 
tion for this great adventure in the lives of several million rural 
southerners. From Virginia to Alabama and up into the head- 

220 The North Carolina Historical Review 

waters of the Tennessee, the shoals that hindered the pioneers 
became the water power for the first factories. As the twentieth 
century dawned, the southern piedmont had built up enough 
capital and enough technical knowledge to develop the water 
power of whole river valleys, and to stretch electric lines a hun- 
dred miles to either side. There were cotton and timber at hand 
to make cloth and furniture, and always the farm boy and girl 
ready to take a job for cash each week. 

Out of these main changes have come other changes for the 
South's people today. None is more striking than in more school- 
ing for more children. Whereas in the nation the enrollment of 
school-age children increased during the first third of the century 
by about fifteen per cent, in the South it increased by about 
thirty per cent. In enrollment of all children of high school age 
in the same period the South's rate of growth was not double 
the nation's, but twenty-fold. Across the land this new chance for 
a high school education represents a sort of social revolution, the 
equalizing of opportunity implied in the American dream. 

In the training for leadership associated with college, the 
South's rate of growth has outrun the nation's. Using the listings 
of eminent persons in Who's Who In America, Dr. Vance in his 
book, All These People, demonstrates that the South has increased 
both its proportionate part of eminent people born in the region 
and of those moving into it. Likewise the South shows a more 
rapid rate in increase in the proportion of professionally trained 
persons. This higher training, in turn, affects the welfare of the 
whole people, as our State Medical Care Commission's recent 
report showed in the field of health. Thus the spread of training 
in technology speeds up the use of machines and scientific meth- 
ods. In turn these speed up the rate of change in way of living 
for our great rural population. 

Though the timing in these changes the South has brought 
a significant improvement in living to the American scene. The 
good roads movement already mentioned got well under way 
before the major period of industrialization. And lines from the 
power dams spread a network through the piedmont. 

The result was that after 1920 most of the factories were built 
well outside the larger towns and even in the open country. With 
the improvement of secondary roads and the extension of electric 

Southern Authors Reveal a Changing South 221 

lines to serve homes, industrial life became mainly a matter of 
living on the farm and riding to work by auto or bus. 

In this feature of southern industrial life may well lie the 
South's major contribution to social progress. That man's pro- 
ductivity is far greater when joined with the factory's machine 
power and its organization goes without saying. It is the founda- 
tion for a rising standard of living. 

When this is coupled with the wholesome features of a rural 
environment for the worker's growing family, a new combination 
has been achieved. It is not simply a matter of sunshine, space, 
and freedom during childhood's growth. It is the preserving — 
albeit modified — of the folkways of generations which promises 
stability and peace to the southern worker above all his fellows. 
Even with the changes that do occur when the farm family turns 
industrial, there is far less of harmful uprooting than our in- 
dustrial growth has required heretofore. 

Perhaps one other feature of industrialization is worth noting 
in the South of recent years. Factories have sprung up so fast 
that the region has drawn in substantial numbers of technicians 
and managers from the north and even from abroad. Because 
both their business interest and tastes call for entering into the 
life of the community, these newcomers have generally added a 
fresh outlook. 

In our changing social fabric the life of the Negro third of 
our people is being altered in ways so different that they must 
be noted separately. For the Negro, the feature not yet changed 
is the one which brought most of the other changes for the white 
population — the growth of industry. With certain notable ex- 
ceptions, southern factories have not opened up new work op- 
portunities for the Negro. 

But as a by-product of industrial growth in the South, service 
occupations in southern towns have drawn tens of thousands of 
Negroes from the farm. Though living conditions can hardly be 
described as better for a large part of these migrants, they re- 
ceive more cash in a month than many saw on the farm in a year. 

In opportunity for public school education they appear in at 
least two states, Kentucky and North Carolina, to be approach- 
ing the standards available to white children. Even in the deep 
South are heard rumblings of the doctrine of equal school oppor- 

222 The North Carolina Historical Review 

tunities for all. As compared with the region's increase of about 
twentyfold in white high school students, the Negro increase 
has been about one hundredfold between 1900 and 1938. On the 
college level it may be interesting to know that with about eight 
thousand students in North Carolina, the Negro's share in total 
number compares favorably with his proportion of the state's 
total population. 

The appearance in southern cities of large communities of 
Negroes has been followed by their development of service occu- 
pations such as neighborhood stores, taxi companies, bus com- 
panies, and even insurance companies. Thus we see a growing 
Negro middle class with doctors, dentists, professors, and a 
sprinkling of lawyers. 

Finally, a substantial part of the race has moved from the 
South. Whether he who moved or he who stayed has made the 
better choice is a question we may soon have the chance to 

To take a broad glance at changes in southern life, the stand- 
ard of living is rising and families are growing smaller as farm 
youth moves into towns and into industry. The trend is toward 
a healthier balance between farm and factory, between rural 
and urban life. Travel and communication are vastly greater. 
Try venturing on a highway any Saturday during the football 
season. Public works and social services as well as education have 
grown prodigiously in the past quarter century, especially in the 
upper South. And the Negro's change is at a far more rapid 
rate as he moves into the main stream of the region's and the 
nation's life. 

A general parallel can be seen between the changing South 
and the increase of its writers on such tangible subjects as 
factories, crops, people, schools, and history. In this field of non- 
fiction writing, cause and effect have marched side by side. 
Where non-fiction writing has been scarce, so have been economic 
and social change. Conversely, those states of the deep South 
whose way of life has changed but little support few non-fiction 
writers. Social studies are scarce as snowballs in Mississippi. 

But fiction writing is different. Let us borrow an illustration 
from another field of art. 

Southern Authors Reveal a Changing South 223 

Guided by a human eye and human insight, the hand of the 
portrait painter can record a human personality far better than 
mathematically exact methods might do. And when we would 
paint in words the portraits of a region's people, the pen of 
the fiction writer can often excel all others. For this reason our 
inquiry into the nature of today's changing South should lean 
heavily on the novelist, the short story writer, the dramatist, and 
the poet. 

But here we run into difficulty. While it is true that an ex- 
panding economy should furnish leisure as the first requisite for 
a writer, two unpredictable elements seem important. One is the 
writer's emotional conditioning to achieve the drive and the 
human insight needed to picture his characters in universal 
terms. The other is the writer's native ability or genius. In 
scattering the seeds of genius, Mother Nature has played her little 
jokes. Some have sprouted in the most sheltered households, and 
some in the most desperate. 

Recently a Mississippi state archives staff member tossed into 
the teeth of the too-free critics of her state a few names, includ- 
ing Eudora Welty, William Alexander Percy, William Faulkner, 
Tennessee Williams, James Street, Ben Ames Williams, Elizabeth 
Spencer, David Donald, Stark Young, Hodding Carter, and 
David L. Cohn. No curve on the state's economic graphs could 
follow this literary rainbow. 

But we might find a clue or two worth tracing in this fiction 
mystery. Like Sherlock Holmes we might start with an obvious 
fact. While a useful non-fiction study might be published by a 
subsidy or grant, this rarely happens for the fiction writer. What 
he writes must interest enough of fiction's regular buyers to 
make a profitable size edition salable. 

For the first fifty years after the Civil War, the southern 
writer's devastation was as severe as the farmer's or the indus- 
trial worker's. The same forces which burned the factories and 
stripped the farms wrecked southern writer's work tools. But 
early in the twentieth century a new palette came into the hands 
of the southern painter of fiction — naturalism. It is a technique 
which heightens contrasts — the ludicrous and the sordid in 
human life. It was of greatest use to authors who knew the back- 
waters of the South. William Faulkner's pictures from his early 

224 The North Carolina Historical Review 

life in Mississippi are the works of a master of naturalism. Erskine 
Caldwell's Tobacco Road must surely have reached through this 
medium a universal quality — albeit distasteful to southerners — 
when the dramatized version ran on Broadway for some ten 

Another clue to the trend of fiction in the region lies in the 
book market. It is not southern book buyers who keep southern 
fiction writers alive. It is readers in the northeast and the middle 
states. Such a group of readers will take an occasional book by a 
southern realist if there is drama in it. We can be thankful that 
the South has not committed as many lynchings as its authors 
have in recent years. But for this same group of readers the story 
of a rising urban family holds less interest. The ground has al- 
ready been well worked early and late, from William Dean 
Howells, past Booth Tarkington to Sinclair Lewis. Likewise the 
story of the rural family adjusting its ideals to changing stand- 
ards is an old tale for the book market — ably worked by Edna 
Ferber and many others. 

In this market situation for the novelist and in this half -cen- 
tury lateness of the South in growing urban and industrial we 
find one answer as to why our changing South is not fully re- 
vealed by its fiction writers, at least to a wide reading public. 

To these general statements on fiction we can happily find 
many exceptions among southern writers. Their success is gener- 
ally the result of good material extremely well handled. Any 
tale is interesting in the hands of the right story teller. Margaret 
Mitchell and Thomas Wolfe carry their readers through hun- 
dreds of pages by the sheer fascination of what they have to say. 

There is some evidence that southern fiction is improving in 
quality, if a best seller record is an indication. Frank Luther 
Mott's story of best sellers, Golden Multitudes, listed no titles by 
southern authors in this century prior to 1936, but in the ten 
years that followed, three novels and one non-fiction book won 
top place in a year's sales. 

One area of middle ground should be mentioned: biography. 
The South has produced a sizeable share of good biographers. 
Many consider Douglas Southall Freeman the leading American 
in this field today. But the great work has been almost wholly on 
personalities of history — not of today's world. The changing 

Southern Authors Reveal a Changing South 225 

South of today is not in general the biographer's field just yet, 
though we find a notable exception in Tar Heel Editor, by one 
who helped to change the South. But the biographer shares the 
fiction writer's problem of writing books that will sell in a book 
market largely eastern and mid-western. When he tells a life 
story already well told a generation earlier in other regions, the 
publisher's appreciative note of rejection must be his main re- 

What fields are promising ones for the novelist and the biog- 
rapher? What subjects will interest the main book market be- 
cause of their meaning in our national life, yet are known best 
to southern authors? The answer should be found in those im- 
portant changes taking place in the South in advance of the 
rest of the nation. 

The significant feature is the passing of masses of farm people 
into industry without changing their rural ways of home life. 
Because this change is not a dramatic one, the writer who would 
suceed with it must have more than ordinary talent for pictur- 
ing the beauty and the deeper satisfactions of life. 

The story of the outlander who comes South will likewise be a 
field for both fiction and biography. Perhaps the viewpoint of 
the outlander will make him more successful than the native in 
telling this story of change. 

Still one other field holds great promise for the southern 
writer, because of its meaning to the nation. This is the story 
of the new Negro, with his growing business and professional 
class. Here is opportunity for the drama of change, the tragedies 
and the triumphs of the Negro as he proceeds cautiously — some- 
times incautiously — into the realm of full citizenship. Perhaps 
the Negro himself will tell this story, as Richard Wright did so 
well for his youth of desperate poverty in Black Boy. Perhaps 
the white writer with really objective thinking will add as Cathe- 
rine Dupre Lumpkin did in The Making of A Southerner. From 
whatever source, this exchange of ideas between white and Negro 
will surely release new talents in a race just awakening. The 
insight that authors can bring is sorely needed so that the two 
races may harmonize their ideals and work for the best future 
of the region. 

226 The North Carolina Historical Review 

And now one final note on these changing times for the people 
of still another race, the Cherokee Indians at the foot of the 
Great Smokies. The efforts of Col. William H. Thomas, their 
adopted white chief, saved these intelligent people from ex- 
tinction after the great removal a hundred years ago. A watch- 
ful nation has protected their old way of life and permitted self- 
government through their tribal council. A friend of mine who 
is their legal advisor met with their council on a Saturday after- 
noon two weeks ago tomorrow. 

During this council session an Indian message bearer brought 
in a folded paper to the tribal hall and handed it to the first 
member seated in the circle. The Cherokee read the message with- 
out a change of expression. He handed it solemnly to the next 
member, Andy Saunook, Lloyd Runningwolf , and so on past the 
chief, around to the other end of the circle to my lawyer friend. 
He opened and read the message : "At the end of the first half : 
Duke nothing, Carolina nothing." This is the changing South. 


By Mary Callum Wiley 

In completing my reading for the Mayflower Cup contest I 
feel as if I had come through a semester of college work — hard 
work under thorough masters — on the present status of the in- 
tellectual life of North Carolina. 

The reading of these books submitted for the 1948 Mayflower 
award has been most stimulating to my intellectual growth; I 
confess that some of the books were too deep for me ; that some 
of them dealt with matter about which I had little personal 
point of contact ; that the sordid realism of the works of fiction 
at times marred my enjoyment of the reading. Yet on the whole, 
the reading of these books of varying types, of wide ranges of 
subject matter, has opened up to me new fields of thought, given 
me profound respect for the scholarly, painstaking professors of 
history and of literature in our North Carolina institutions of 
higher learning, a deeper appreciation of the contributions they 
and the other North Carolina men and women of letters are mak- 
ing to the cultural progress of our state. 

It is not my purpose this morning to analyze for you the 
twenty-six books submitted for the 1948 Mayflower award. I am 
no expert in the reviewing of books, neither am I a literary 
critic; I am just a plain lover of books, and as such I have come 
to talk with you, in a very informal way, about the books on the 
1948 Mayflower list which are of special interest to me. 

I trust that my selection of the nine or more of the twenty-six 
books will not lead you to think that the books I have omitted 
are of small literary or historical value. Indeed, I feel sure that 
the other members of the award committee will in many in- 
stances differ with me as to the outstanding books of the list. 

Among the books about which I shall talk is the book chosen 
by the majority vote of the award committee as the outstanding 
literary production of the year. I hope that in my enthusiasm 
I shall say nothing that will give away the great secret which 
is to be publicly announced tonight — the 1948 winner of the 
Mayflower Cup. 


228 The North Carolina Historical Review 

It has been no easy task deciding upon the outstanding book 
of the twenty-six, presenting as they do a wide range of literary 
production — fiction, history, social and economic studies, lit- 
erary and musical criticism, essays sermons, poetry— and re- 
quiring in their appraisal standards of widely differing skills. 

For instance, the historical studies or those dealing with social 
or economic questions, ranging in subject matter from Research 
Management to The Papacy and European Diplomacy, from 
Dr. Odum's Understanding Society to Dr. Sydnor's The Develop- 
ment of Southern Sectionalism — must be judged by their evi- 
dence of scholarly research, of keen assimilation of facts. On 
the other hand, the works of fiction must be judged by their 
"artistic simplicity," which, someone has said, is a part of great- 
ness" ; the poetry, by its appeal to the imagination, its beauty 
of thought and phrasing. 

The difficulty lies in deciding whether the best historical work 
should be given precedence over the outstanding novel, or the 
stimulating book of sermons, or the verse "rich in simple living," 
showing "rare heights of beauty." 

There are two rather unusual works submitted this year for 
appraisal: one narrowed to the field of the trained musician, 
William S. Newman's original study of keyboard sonata his- 
tory — Thirteen Key Board Sonatas of the Eighteenth and Nin- 
teenth Centuries; the other of interest to the student of French, 
Robert White Linker's new edition of a manuscript of the thir- 
teenth century by an unknown author — Aucassin et Nicolet — pre- 
sented to the reader in the original Old French. 

It is of peculiar interest to me that two of the Mayflower books 
of the year have been written by former high school students 
of mine : The Leaf Against the Sky by Paul Ader and The Hunt- 
er's Horn by Peirson Ricks ; and a third book, Pilgrims Through 
Space and Time by a young man who began his teaching days 
in my department of English of the R. J. Reynolds High School, 
Winston-Salem, Dr. J. 0. Bailey, now of the University of North 
Carolina department of English. 

Dr. Bailey has chosen for his study a very unusual subject — a 
search into the literature of the weird and supernatural, the 
literature dealing with the experiments of men of science in 


North Carolina Books of the Year: A Review 229 

changing human behaviour, in causing animals to take on the 
nature of man. 

Peirson Ricks and Paul Ader in their beginning novels give 
promise of future work. Both present North Carolina scenes. 
Paul Ader gives the impression of a personal, intimate knowledge 
of the places and people about whom he is writing as he unfolds 
his story of a youth brought up in the strict atmosphere of a 
Methodist parsonage struggling to reconcile old and new loyal- 
ties. Peirson Ricks builds his plot around the conflict of the 
social elements in a rural community of eastern North Carolina. 

In fiction my taste often runs counter to the stark realism of 
so many of the novels of the day which are acclaimed best sellers. 
Having read no review of Tomorrow Will Be Better, I picked up 
the book, I must confess, with strong feelings that I would not 
like it. But from the opening chapter to the very end of the 
story — a depressing, realistic story of the Brooklyn Betty Smith 
knows so well — I was held by the "artistic simplicity" with which 
the author wrote, her evident sincerity and sympathetic under- 
standing of the people about whom she was writing. 

A little child one day in talking to her mother about a favorite 
book said she liked the book because the story people made her 
like them. The men and women in Fielding Burke's Sons of the 
Stranger make me like them and recognize, in spite of the sordid 
details of their lives, their inherent nobility of character in the 
heroic struggle they make throughout their moving, tragic lives. 
Beautifully written, Sons of the Stranger is a book that will live 
— a book that will find its place in the classification Ruskin once 
made, "Books for All Time." 

For beauty of diction, clear flowing style Dr. Henry Louis 
Smith's This Troubled Century is a book I like to dip into again 
and again. No matter upon what subject Dr. Smith is speaking, 
with his characteristic manner of speech, vigorous and polished, 
he draws the attention to whatever he has to say. He speaks, and 
with authority, upon a wide range of topics and to various classes 
of hearers — on practical everyday matters of conduct to college 
boys ; in cultural gatherings he gives philosophical interpretation 
of world events or discusses such men as Luther or Robert E. 
Lee, with rare insight into their characters; in dealing with 

230 The North Carolina Historical Review 

matters of scientific investigation, reverently he opens up to 
his hearers "the glorious landscapes of the imagination." 

Berlin Reparations Assignment, for an understanding of "the 
slow and painful process in the negotiation of a German repara- 
tions settlement," for a candid view of Soviet diplomacy, merits 
a wide reading. The very fact that the book is, as the authors, 
Professors B. U. Ratchford and William D. Ross of Duke Uni- 
versity, state in their preface, "primarily a personal account of 
what they saw, what they did, and some of the impressions they 
received" makes the book of special interest and value. This 
personal viewpoint makes us see the stress under which the 
authors performed their daily tasks, due in part to the recurring 
shortages of pencils and typewriters, coal, gasoline. How em- 
barrassing it was to the two Americans, at the end of a weary- 
ing committee meeting, to have to stand on the corner waiting 
for a hitch-ride while their fellow committeemen from Great 
Britain, France, and Russia "rode off in American lend-lease 
vehicles, on American lend-lease gasoline." As the authors de- 
scribe their work from day to day, they give revealing glimpses 
of the kind of men they had to deal with — the French delega- 
tions, inclined time and time again to side with the delegation 
from Russia and so, perhaps not intentionally, blocking what- 
ever move the Americans were trying to make ; tough, stubborn, 
impulsive General Clay ; smooth-tongued Soviet diplomats, armed 
with a definite plan from Moscow and determined against all 
odds to push that plan through — Soviets trained in the art of 
"selling the same horse twice" — and usually at a higher price 
the second time. 

For the subject of her study Lilliam Parker Wallace could not 
have chosen a more involved and highly controversial question 
than the one treated in her scholarly work — The Papacy and 
European Diplomacy: 1869-1878. With remarkable clarity, in 
spite of the depth of the subject and the fact that most of the 
documentary material, both primary and secondary sources, had 
to be translated from foreign tongues, and in a spirit of fairness 
and unbiased candor the author discusses not the relations be- 
tween the Roman Catholic Church and the state but the relations 
of the states with each other as affected by the policies of that 

North Carolina Books of the Year: A Review 231 

Notwithstanding the fact that from its very nature a work 
of this kind makes its appeal to the trained historian rather than 
to the lay reader, I found the book stimulating in that it opened 
up to me a new and wide field of thought. I was especially in- 
terested in the sections devoted to the promulgation of the dogma 
of Papal Infallibility and the "war of civilization" it brought 
on — "the struggle of modern liberal, scientific culture against 
ecclesiastical slavery." As Bismarck pointed out, "the struggle 
was not the struggle of an evangelical dynasty against the Catho- 
lic Church, nor between belief and unbelief, but an old struggle, 
as old as the race, between priestly and kingly power." 

While the teaching of English over a long period of years has 
been a joy and an inspiration to me, my spare time has been 
freely given to the searching of the annals of the past, especially 
of my own section and state, delving into time-stained manu- 
scripts and books. And so the books of history on the list, every 
one of them showing painstaking, accurate research, make their 
appeal to me. Naturally, since my forebears grew up under the 
Presbyterian atmosphere of old Guilford County, the preaching 
of David Caldwell and Eli Caruthers, I read with interest John 
W. Simpson's History of the First Presbyterian Church of 
Greensboro — a church springing from David Caldwell's old Ala- 
mance and Buffalo churches of Guilford County. 

While it is true that this book is limited in interest to a narrow 
circle of readers, it is of value in that it not only contributes to 
the religious history of our state, but with its wealth of personal 
detail, its intimate glimpses of the people of one locality and 
faith, it fits in with the all-around picture of North Carolina, 
present and past. 

Those who like informal, fireside chats as it were about old 
times and present time, men and also "notable spinsters" of by- 
gone days, will find Edward H. Davis's Historical Sketches of 
Franklin County delightful reading. The early citizens of Frank- 
lin, old records show, were "men of handsome information and 
eager after knowledge." Indeed it was only eight years after the 
formation of the county that they established an academy "with 
great advantages to the State in general and to the County of 
Franklin in particular." The one interest — education — Mr. Davis 
declares, has characterized the history and growth of Franklin 

232 The North Carolina Historical Review 

County more than any other and so he devotes much space to 
the early schools and school teachers of the county. Preachers, 
Methodist preachers especially, likewise through the years made 
their impress upon the county. One of these old-timey preachers, 
"Uncle Jimmy Reid," who had the distinction of having both a 
son and a grandson members of the conference at the same time 
with himself, had such a wonderful voice that all he had to do 
when he ascended the pulpit was to start a hymn, utter the word 
"Mesopotamia" and the congregation would be on their knees, 
the saints shouting for joy, the sinners crying for mercy. From 
far back the people of Louisburg have had a healthy local pride — 
in the estimation of her neighbors too healthy. In the early 
1830's they were unwilling to have the Raleigh and Gaston Rail- 
road pass through their borders lest it disturb the atmosphere 
of serenity and culture and study for which their town was 
noted. Some fifty years ago a prominent public man from another 
section of the state declined an invitation to deliver the com- 
mencement address at Louisburg College because, as he is re- 
ported to have said, he did not have time to prepare his speech 
and half -prepared he had rather face an audience anywhere else 
in the state than in Louisburg. 

The Development of Southern Sectionalism, 1819 -IS US, by Dr. 
Charles S. Sydnor of Duke University, is the fifth volume in the 
projected ten-volume history of the South, sponsored by the 
Littlef ield Fund of the University of Texas and the State Univer- 
sity of Louisiana. In his clear, logical way of writing, Dr. Sydnor 
presents first the Old South, at peace with the nation on political 
issues — her people, mostly planters, small farmers, village folk, 
content with their self-government through the county court and 
in their thinking along public issues, moral, and social questions 
largely directed by their churches, church colleges, and denomi- 
national press. Then the distinguished author makes clear how 
the industrial development in the North and in the rapidly-grow- 
ing West, the mounting sentiment against slavery, the changes 
in national party organization resulting in the southern loss of 
leadership in Congress, brought about among the states of the 
South "a feeling of oppression, of defeat, and even of despera- 
tion" ; and how these states, to build up against their resentment 
and bitterness, withdrew as it were into themselves, creating 

North Carolina Books of the Year: A Review 233 

"an idealized portrait of Southern life; a romantic legend . . . 
which in the nearer future was to give the Confederate soldier 
something to die for." Dr. Sydnor's scholarly work, with its 
faithful delineation of the mind of the South, one puts down with 
a deeper appreciation of our section of the nation and the prob- 
lems peculiar to it. As for me, as a teacher of English, I found 
keen delight in the literary style of the author — the lucid, flow- 
ing sentence structure, the easy transition of thought from para- 
graph to paragraph, the choice selection of words. 

The volume entitled The Papers of Walter Clark, edited by 
Aubrey Lee Brooks and Hugh T. Lefler, is a worthy addition to 
the source material of our state relating to the reconstruction 
period and the years following through the turn of the century. 
Through this volume one gets not only "the true inwardness" of 
the controversial issues of the 1890*8, such as the Clark-Kilgo 
case, but an insight into the legal philosophy of the "fighting 
judge" who had so great a part in bringing about judicial and 
legislative reforms in the North Carolina of the 1890's and 
early 1900's. Fearlessly he proclaimed : "The vital question which 
this country is called upon to determine is Where shall the gov- 
ernment power reside? Shall it be Men or Money?" To me per- 
sonally the appeal of this book lies not in the first-hand legal 
and political matter but in the early letters with their intimate 
glimpses of the home life of young Clark, of his years at boarding 
school and military institute, in the Confederate army. The 
twelve-year old boy off at boarding school, ending his letters to 
his mother with "Kiss the children for me," tries manfully to 
hide his homesickness; the devoted mother admonishes her son 
to read his Bible every day and brush his teeth; "little Clark" 
the soldier with a word here and there reveals the hardship of 
camp life — the ragged Confederate soldiers, lying by the fire in 
the raw November night, with no covering blankets; the bare- 
foot men waiting their turn in line to get the hide from the beeves 
killed for rations that they may make moccasins for themselves. 
The mother makes her soldier son a new coat out of his old one 
turned with the cuffs shortened ; she sends him apples from the 
little tree at home and fresh garden stuff with onions slipped in 
because, as she writes him : "Your Pa insists on sending you some 

234 The North Carolina Historical Review 

onions & your Cousin Will says you ought to learn to eat them ; 
they are so healthy." 

With the patient, conscientious research of the trained his- 
torian, Paul Hibbert Clyde, professor of history in Duke Univer- 
sity, has given us a masterly presentation of the subject he 
treats in his massive volume of 800 pages — The Far East, A His- 
tory of the Impact of the West on Eastern Asia. Since Dr. Clyde 
designed his book primarily for Americans, he devotes large 
space to the activities of Americans and appraisal of American 
policies. In one short chapter Dr. Clyde with remarkable clarity 
reviews the progress of World War II in the Far East, culminat- 
ing in the dropping of the first atomic bomb used in warfare. 

In his final chapter Dr. Clyde shows how difficult are the 
economic problems of the postwar Far East, "conditioned (as 
they are) by the traditional historic social habits which have as 
yet, by no means adjusted themselves to a Western and modern 
world/ ' In the creation of the future Far East, the eminent his- 
torian declares, the United States and the Soviet Union exert 
the greatest influence, "the sphere of influence of Soviet Russia 
being in the ancient frontier against Siberia and Central Asia, 
the back door to the East — the sphere of the United States being 
the new frontier, the maritime gateway to China on the Pacific. 

"These frontiers meet along the 38th parallel in Korea . . . the 
remote geographical line, unhearlded and unsung in the records 
of history . . . will divide or unite America and Russia in the 
creation of the future Far East." 

Every now and then some North Carolina poet brings out a 
slender volume of verse. This year we have on our Mayflower 
list a choice collection of poems written by a poet eighty-two 
years of age, who only five years ago began the serious work of 
composition : Look Up, World by Herbert Delahaye Miles 1 of 
Asheville. In the clear tones of the Classic, as he expresses it, 
Mr. Miles writes his poems and with a delicacy of touch and a 
nobility of sentiment unusual in much of the present day poetry 
— or so called poetry. With that simplicity and sincerity which 
mark the true poet, Mr. Miles gives voice to his poetic urge upon 
a variety of themes. In these lines from When April Comes note 
the beauty of language, the appeal to the imagination: 

1 The quotations from Mr. Miles works are reproduced by special permission. 

North Carolina Books of the Year: A Review 235 

A soft prelude 

A mild melodious piping to the lovely things that rise 

Is blown by spring-time winds to mark the faintly rising sighs 

Of Earth's response ! And soon new life in all its urgent tide, 

A tide that springs from waiting woods, from meadows, from 

Wakes to the piping. 

In the native dialect of two of his mountain friends the poet 
thus vividly makes us see a bear hunt: 

OF No'th Ca'lina Bill breathed hard and deep — 
"That b'ar outsharped us, up to Briar Knob, 
An' we-uns got her in the big sink-hole! 

Coaly Calhoun, our rough and ready hunter, 
Toasted his toes and eagerly joined in. 

She done outsharped our dogs, too ; doubled back 
An' kep we-uns a-chasin' till nigh dark! 
She run off like the devil whoppin' fire, 
Then she come by that mean sink-hole up thar 
That's full o' rocks an' briars an' laurel bush, 
An' riz up quick an' div down into hit, 
The dogs a-top o' her an' like to die ! 
I skinned me on them rocks as I fell in 
Plumb into dogs an' b'ar. 

An' that thar b'ar were mad ; no time to waste ! 
Her eyes shined like new money. I fired twiste 
An' got her. 

This lovely lyric, one of several inscribed To Delia, is entitled 
"The Spirit of Motherhood:" 

Your proud wise head, once gold is white, 
Its lovliness is ours. 

For love and life and you are one, 
To us you are the whole of three. 

Unbowed by Time, you find life good : 
Your spirit sings. So love can be! 

And we — we view life understood 
In your serenity. 

And so ends my survey of the 1948 North Carolina books I like 
best ; I trust that you will read these books for yourselves to see 
how fine they are. 

By Alice M. Baldwin 

You will all remember the scholarly and interesting paper by 
Dr. Mims at our annual meeting in 1946 on the intellectual de- 
velopment of North Carolina during the last fifty years. I could 
not, if I would, write anything of equal value but it has occurred 
to me that it might be of some interest and perhaps even of 
some slight value if I should talk briefly and informally of some 
of the changes in other fields during the last twenty-five years. 
I have chosen only a few which have especially interested me. I 
fear that it may be like bringing coals to Newcastle to talk of 
these developments to you, who in many cases have been instru- 
mental in bringing them about, but after all, it is pleasant now 
and then to take stock of one's work and to know that it is good. 

As I was driving down from the North two weeks ago, I saw 
a deep cut in a new road where workmen were digging diagonal 
trenches for the planting of vines. The broad shoulders were 
green with new grass, and I thought of the changes the last 
twenty-five years have brought in the appearance of our land 
and country-side. Along the highways today one sees far less of 
the raw earth and fewer eroded fields and gullies. Many of the 
cuts are covered with vines, the shoulders levelled and planted 
with grass and there is a fair amount of contour farming. As one 
drives through the country one sees better-kept farms, many of 
them with electric wires running from the highway, a larger 
number of cleaner and finer cattle and a greater variety of 

In the towns and villages trees have been planted along the 
streets, oaks and dogwoods and crepe myrtles. Well kept parks 
are more common than formerly, school buildings, many of them 
new and attractive in design, have shrubbery and flowers grow- 
ing about them, areas around railroad stations and along the 
railroads have been improved and in some cases landscaped. 

There has also been a great change in the homes of the people. 
Years ago there were many which were without foundations, 

[236 ] 

Twenty-Five Years in North Carolina 237 

with swept but grassless yards. To see a woman sweeping her 
bare yard was no uncommon sight. Today a large number of 
these houses have been bricked in, shrubbery and flowers have 
been planted around the house, and grass grows in the yard. 
Almost all new homes, however small, are built with foundations 
or closed underpinning. There is an appearance of greater stabil- 
ity, order, and beauty and certainly these homes must be warmer 
and less drafty. 

The increased interest in the history of the state and in the 
preservation and restoration of the lovely old buildings, historic 
sites, and relics has been notable. Old-time handicrafts have been 
revived and native folk songs and folk dances brought out of 
obscurity. Indeed, these have become well known beyond the state 
boundaries. Old courthouses have been cleaned and painted and 
historic towns like Hillsboro made far more attractive. 

Perhaps some of you have read the article by Louis Bromfield 
in the November Atlantic, entitled "Go South, Young Man," in 
which he discusses some of the changes which I have mentioned. 
"Of all the Southern states/' he says, "and for that matter all 
the forty-eight, no state has shown more progress within the 
past generation than North Carolina." I had written this paper 
before my attention was called to Bromfield's article and was, 
of course, pleased to find my own layman's observations sup- 
ported by such an authority. All of these developments are proof 
not only of the greater economic prosperity of the state but also 
of a growing aesthetic appreciation and an awakened civic con- 
sciousness and pride. 

The most striking illustration of the development of aesthetic 
appreciation is the amazing growth of interest in art and music. 
Today the larger cities have excellent musical programs, the 
great orchestras play to capacity houses, the state is even sup- 
porting its own symphony orchestra, one of the very few state 
orchestras in the United States. People come many miles to hear 
good music. It reminds me of North Dakota where, before the 
day of automobiles, they thought nothing of taking an all day's 
train journey to hear the opera in Minneapolis. 

And the same thing is true of the interest in painting and 
sculpture. Art museums have been built and exhibits, many of 
them excellent in quality, are well attended. 

238 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Twenty-five years ago in the colleges of the state little atten- 
tion was given to these subjects. Perhaps there was a lingering 
belief that they were primarily for women, the finishing touch 
in their polite education, as they had been for so many years. 
Today in all the colleges and universities of North Carolina de- 
partments of art and music are doing serious work, appealing to 
men as well as to women. And best of all, there are North Caro- 
lina artists and musicians who are creating new beauty in their 
chosen fields. 

This increased appreciation of beauty in all its forms has 
been due to the devotion of certain individuals who have labored 
tirelessly over long years and often against discouragement, to 
organizations like the woman's clubs, the garden clubs, the 
societies meeting here this week, to various other state organiza- 
tions, to the teachers in schools and colleges, to local art and 
music societies, and to many other groups as well as to the state 

Of course, this development has not occurred in North Caro- 
lina alone. It has been nation-wide, but to me at least this aspect 
of the state's progress is one of the most significant. North Caro- 
lina has become conscious of what the love of beauty can do for 
the state and its citizens. 

The many changes in customs and manners are known to all 
of you, of course. I confess to a certain nostalgia when I think of 
the more leisurely life and of some of the ways of the old South 
which so fascinated me when I first came to North Carolina: 
the friendly and courteous salutes of the old Negroes, the rhythm 
of the Negro workmen as they sang to the swing of their picks, 
the songs of the servants as they shelled peas in the dormitory 
kitchens, and the kindly "Miss Alice" with which I was greeted 
in the shops. These bits of southern color seem fast disappear- 
ing, at least in the larger towns and cities. 

Some of the older ways of living fortunately remain. For ex- 
ample, in the churches one still sees the whole family, men and 
boys included, rather than the more feminine congregations in 
many of the more northern churches and, in spite of the different 
social habits of today, family ties seem as strong as in earlier 

Twenty-Five Years in North Carolina 239 

But in some respects these twenty-five years have brought 
very great changes. Naturally I have been especially interested in 
those affecting the lives of girls and women. And great indeed 
they have been, some of them again only a part of a world-wide 
movement, some more peculiar to North Carolina and the South. 

It is hard to realize that only twenty-five years ago at Trinity 
and other colleges in North Carolina girls were not even allowed 
to dance together and could date only at strictly limited times 
and in sharply specified places and that deans of women, in the 
smaller colleges at least, were seriously concerning themselves 
in their annual conferences with the comparative wickedness of 
bare elbows and rolled hose. Today these meetings deal with 
problems of real import in the education of high school and col- 
lege women. 

In those earlier days the newly formed student government as- 
sociations in the colleges also concerned themselves chiefly with 
minute questions of manners and discipline and with social ac- 
tivities. Today, although these still take up much time, student 
councils have grown in power and maturity and are deeply in- 
terested in the curriculum, in vocational guidance, in social ser- 
vice of many kinds in the college and community, in local, state, 
and national government, and in the more fundamental bases of 
individual and group conduct. 

The interest of the students has shifted to a large extent from 
education, foreign language, English, and history to sociology, 
psychology, economics, political science, business administration, 
and the natural sciences, although very recently there seems to 
be a slight renewal of interest in teaching. This has been due 
perhaps in large part to the greater number of opportunities for 
women, a change hastened to an amazing extent by the last war. 
It is unnecessary to enlarge upon the variety of positions now 
open to women. Perhaps the change in the attitude of parents 
towards their daughters* occupations has been less noticeable. 

Twenty-five years ago teaching was almost the only profession 
approved by North Carolina parents for their daughters, with 
the occasional exception of a position as secretary, and it was 
rarely that they approved a position outside of the South. Many 
a time I tried without success to persuade a mother or father 
to permit their daughter to enter nursing or to study medicine, 

240 The North Carolina Historical Review 

for example. Today there seems little reluctance to let the girls 
try their hand at anything which interests them from a secre- 
taryship in South America, social work in Hawaii, a position as 
stewardess on an international plane to that of psychiatrist in 
a Richmond juvenile court, a chemist in a naval ordnance center, 
or a model in New York. Seniors go to Miami, to Tennessee, to 
New York as well as to Raleigh and Charlotte to be interviewed 
by prospective employers. 

But it is not only school and college girls before whom new 
vistas have opened. The development of the Federation of 
Women's Clubs, of the Parent-Teachers Association, of the 
American Association of University Women, and of the service 
clubs such as the Altrusa, Pilot, and Business and Professional 
Women has been rapid and is still continuing. Women are em- 
ployed in almost every field of endeavor. In addition, an enorm- 
ous amount of voluntary service is given by North Carolina 
women to their home communities and to the state. It would be 
impossible to enumerate all their activities but were they sud- 
denly to cease there would be an acute realization of their value 
and indeed of their necessity. I have spoken of their work in the 
development of aesthetic appreciation. It has been equally note- 
worthy in social welfare and in other fields. There is one field, 
however, in which it seems to me there has been little progress 
and perhaps even a retrogression. That is in the field of politics. 
I shall never forget my first attendance in 1924 at a state meet- 
ing of the League of Women Voters. Never in any state or even 
in any national meeting had I met women who impressed me so 
forcibly with their vigor, independence, spicy individuality, and 
determination to share in the political life of the state. Many of 
these vigorous women have gone from the North Carolina scene 
and, able as are their daughters and granddaughters and active 
as they are in local and state affairs, I think there has been a 
loss of that earlier ardor. In any case, there is certainly a lack of 
women in our legislature and in city, county, and state offices. 

Another development of great significance has been the im- 
provement in interracial relations. This summer I read frequent- 
ly in the Boston papers favorable comments on the situation in 
North Carolina, especially on the equal pay of Negro and white 
teachers and the excellent Negro colleges. Although further im- 

Twenty-Five Years in North Carolina 241 

provement is needed, especially in the schoolhouses and their 
equipment, certainly one of the greatest changes in the state 
during the last twenty-five years has been the growth of educa- 
tional opportunity for its Negro citizens. Today in a number of 
the larger cities and perhaps in some of the smaller towns as 
well, committees of Negroes and whites have been appointed to 
study conditions and to find ways of improvement, not only in 
education but in housing and in other common problems. The 
ability to think and to work together, on a basis of mutual re- 
spect, is, I believe, the best augury for a peaceful and just solu- 
tion of interracial difficulties. 

Notable also has been the change in the position of industrial 
workers. Not only are their wages higher and their living condi- 
tions much better but they have become far more articulate. Not 
so long ago I knew workers who were afraid of losing their jobs 
if they so much as mentioned unions or tried to raise money 
among their fellow-workers for a scholarship to a workers' sum- 
mer school. Such a situation would seem strange indeed today. 
The improved economic condition and the increased self-respect 
of so many of its citizens is a great asset to the state. 

There has also been a decided change in the attitude of North 
Carolinians to new residents from the North and West, less 
sensitiveness to criticism, less consciousness of separateness and 
that in spite of the recent campaign. One seldom hears today the 
term "foreigner" applied to fellow Americans. The economic 
changes, the war, the national reputation of North Carolina 
institutions have brought more men and women from other parts 
of the country to North Carolina and have carried more North 
Carolinians to the North and West. Perhaps the fact that 
Europeans called all American soldiers "Yankees" has helped to 
make the term less opprobrious. 

Many other changes the years have brought to the state, some 
of them fully as significant as any I have mentioned, the remark- 
able development of hospitals and interest in public health, for 
example, but the limits of my time and knowledge are upon me. 

There are still, of course, certain qualities and habits which 
belong especially to North Carolina as well as others which are of 
the South and many of them I hope we shall retain because they 

242 The North Carolina Historical Review 

speak of the past and give its own special characteristics to the 

You will notice that I say "we." And that brings me to my final 
word. Twenty-five years has changed a Yankee to such a good 
North Carolinian that I like turnip salad, automatically open 
and butter my hot biscuits immediately, can say North Caro- 
linian and pronounce Concord with the long last syllable without 
any hesitation and have been caught calling myself in all inno- 
cence a Southerner, much to the amusement of my northern 
family. The beauty of North Carolina, the friendliness of its 
people, the strength of family and church life, the exciting sense 
of growth, the continuity with the past, together with the readi- 
ness to accept the new, all these have won my interest and af- 
fection. When I return after an absence, however short, I feel at 


By Douglas L. Rights 

"Of making many books there is no end." This is the text. The 
flood gates of the printing presses are open and the tide is rising 

The largest university library in the United States has more 
than six million volumes. If a student in his freshman year 
began reading in the library at the rate of ten books a day, a 
liberal assignment, he would complete his reading through the 
library in a little less than two thousand years, only to find that 
fifty million more books had accumulated at the present rate of 

Something must be done about this. Something has been done. 

A notable effort has been made to provide a liberal education 
on a five-foot shelf. 

There are offerings of condensations, or synopses. The digest 
magazines give articles in reduced space and books are boiled 
down. The digest of a five-hundred-page book can be read in five 
pages. Why read five hundred when five will do? 

If the trend continues, we may expect the reduction of a book 
to an impression produced by a pill. You do not need to read 
the book ; simply take the pill and you will get the effect. In the 
not far distant future the gentle reader might seat himself com- 
fortably in his easy chair and reach, not for the book case, but 
for the pill box, choose a pill — let us say the red pill "Tale of 
Two Cities" — take the pill, and — the rest is silence. 

Against this strong tide of literary production North Carolina 
has continued heartily resistant. The voluminous flood beats 
with little effect on the sandbanks, the rock-ribbed mountains, 
the sandhills, and the piedmont. 

The State Literary and Historical Association is not unmind- 
ful and declares among its purposes "(1) to foster the interest 
of our people in the literature and history of North Carolina, and 
(2) to encourage productive literary activity within the State 
and to assist in bringing to public attention meritorious works 
by North Carolina writers." 

[ 243 ] 

244 The North Carolina Historical Review 

In the years 1905 to 1922 a cup was provided by a loyal citizen 
to be awarded annually to the writer of the book selected by 
judges to be the outstanding literary production of the state in 
that year. When conditions required that this award be discon- 
tinued, the Society of Mayflower Descendants in North Carolina, 
in 1930, provided for the annual award of the Mayflower Cup. 

This is deserved recognition. It does not, however, go far 
enough. I would recommend that a collection of cups, and perhaps 
plates, and saucers, and sufficient other vessels be provided for 
distribution to deserving authors so that all contributors to the 
literary production of the state be rewarded. 

I would go further. I would recommend cups for booksellers. 
What good is a book if it is not delivered into the hands of 
readers ? North Carolina is notoriously poor in book stores. A re- 
quest to a publishing house for a list of booksellers in North Caro- 
lina produced only a list issued ten years ago, which exhibited, 
after deduction of newsstands with their loads of lurid comic 
and tragic displays, and drug stores with their offerings from 
sandwiches to strychnine, only about a score of qualified book 
stores in this state. 

I would recommend cups for public libraries, too often neg- 
lected and underprivileged. 

And still further, I would recommend cups for readers. What 
good are authors and book stores if no one reads the books ? Give 
us intelligent readers to demand the best in literature. 

For the one cup that is provided by the Society of Mayflower 
Descendants in North Carolina, it is my pleasure to make the 
presentation to Dr. Charles S. Sydnor as the award in 1948 for 
the book, The Development of Southern Sectionalism, 1819-1848. 

By Mary Lindsay Thornton 

Bibliography and Libraries 

COULTER, ELLIS MERTON. Travels in the Confederate 
States, a bibliography. Norman, University of Oklahoma 
Press, 1948. xiv, 289 p. $7.50. 

GODFREY, JAMES LOGAN, ed. The Graduate School disser- 
tations and theses ; ed., with a foreword, by James L. Godfrey, 
Fletcher M. Green [and] W. W. Pierson. Chapel Hill, The 
University of North Carolina Press, 1947. 184 p. $3.00. 

lina conference, a meeting of the Cooperative committee on 
library building plans held at Chapel Hill and Durham, North 
Carolina, March 18-19, 1947. Philadelphia, Stephenson 
Brothers, 1947. 32 p. plans. $1.00 pa. Order from L. Kaplan, 
General Library, University of Wisconsin, Madison 6, Wis. 

THOMPSON, LAWRENCE SIDNEY, tr. A history of libraries 
in Great Britain and North America, by Albert Predeek, trans- 
lated by Lawrence S. Thompson. Chicago, American Library 
Association, 1948. ix, 177 p. $3.25. 

Religion and Philosophy 

BALDWIN, JESSE ARMON. How much? How little? How 
much religion may one have ; how little may one have to have 
any at all? Louisville, Ky., Pentacostal Publishing Company, 
n. d. 246 [5] p. $2.00. 

BOSLEY, HAROLD AUGUSTUS. Main issues confronting 
Christendom. New York, Harper and Brothers, [1948] xi, 
204 p. $2.50. 

FRIES, ADELAIDE LISETTA, ed. Records of the Moravians 
in North Carolina, volume VII, 1809-1822. Raleigh, N. C, 
State Department of Archives and History, 1947. x, 3021-3612 
p. illus. Apply the Department. Free except for mailing fee 

of $.25. 

GARDNER, EUGENE NORFLEET. Magnifying the church. 
[Nashville, Tenn., Broadman Press, 1947] x, 143 p. $1.35. 

JORDAN, GERALD RAY. Emerging revival. Nashville, Tenn., 
Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, [1946] 186 p. $1.75. 

OWNBEY, RICHARD L. A Christian and his money. Nashville, 
Tenn., Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, [1947] 124 p. $.50 pa. 

1 Books dealing with North Carolina or by North Carolinians published during the year 
ending August 31, 1948. 


246 The North Carolina Historical Review 

WARE, CHARLES CROSSFIELD. Roimtree chronicles, 1827- 
1840, documentary primer of a Tar Heel faith. Wilson, N. C, 
The North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention, 1947. 
64 p. illus. $2.00 pa. Order from Author, Wilson, N. C. 

WEAVER, RICHARD M. Ideas have consequences. [Chicago] 
University of Chicago Press, [1948] v, 189 p. $2.75. 

Economics and Sociology 

EDMUNDSON, MILDRED. Dramatizing democracy, by Mildred 
Edmundson in collaboration with Edward L. Edmundson, Jr. 
Book one. American history, part one. Raleigh, N. C, Edwards 
and Broughton Company, [c. 1947] 74 p. $1.00 pa. 

FRANKLIN, JOHN HOPE. From slavery to freedom; a history 
of American Negroes. New York, A. A. Knopf, 1947. xv, 622, 
xliii p. illus. $5.00, text, $3.75. 

GIBSON, WILLIAM MARION. Constitutions of Columbia. Dur- 
ham, N. C, Duke University Press, 1948. xii, 478 p. $6.00. 

GILLIN, JOHN PHILIP. The ways of men, an introduction to 
anthropology. New York, D. Appleton-Century Company, 
[1948] xv, 649 p. illus. $4.50. 

KNIGHT, EDGAR WALLACE, ed. Higher education in the 
South; a report of cooperative studies conducted under the 
auspices of the Committee on work conferences on higher edu- 
cation of the Southern association of colleges and secondary 
schools, with a preface by O. C. Carmichael. Chapel Hill, The 
University of North Carolina Press, [1947] vii, 171 p. $2.75. 

LENT, GEORGE EIDT. The impact of the undistributed profits 
tax, 1936-1937. New York, 1948. Thesis Columbia University. 
203 p. $2.50. 

LINGLE, WALTER LEE. Memories of Davidson College. Rich- 
mond, Va., John Knox Press, [1947] 157 p. illus. $3.00. 

CARE COMMISSION. The official report of the Medical care 
commission on the expansion of the Medical school of the Uni- 
versity of North Carolina to Governor R. Gregg Cherry and 
the Board of trustees. [Raleigh, 1947] 142 p. pa. 

HEAD FOUNDATION. The Morehead building, University of 
North Carolina. No place, The Foundation, [1947] [22] p. 
illus. pa. 

ODUM, HOWARD WASHINGTON. Understanding society; the 
principles of dynamic sociology. New York, Macmillan Com- 
pany, 1947. vi, 749 p. illus, $4.50. 

North Carolina Bibliography 1947-1948 247 

SMITH, HENRY LOUIS. This troubled century, selected ad- 
dresses. Chapel Hill, The University of North Carolina Press, 
1947. x, 203 p. $3.00. 

city of Statesville, North Carolina, 1947. . . . Pub. by order of 
the Board of aldermen. Charlottesville, Va., Michie City Publi- 
cations Co., 1947. 349 p. $5.00. 

WAGER, PAUL WOODFORD. Resource management in North 
Carolina, a study in public administration, by Paul W. Wager 
and Donald B. Hayman. Chapel, Institute for Research in 
Social Science, University of North Carolina, 1947. x, 192 p. 
pa. Apply. 

WETTACH, ROBERT HASLEY, ed. A century of legal educa- 
tion. Chapel Hill, The University of North Carolina Press, 
1947. ix, 146 p. $3.00. 

WILSON, CARRIE B. History of the North Carolina state divi- 
sion of the American association of university women, 1927- 
1947. Greensboro, Printed by Riser Print. Co., c.1948. vi, 77 p. 
$1.00 pa. Order from Mrs. Robert L. Humber, Greenville, N. C. 

WILSON, EDDIE WATTS. The gourd in folk literature. [Bost- 
on, The Gourd Society of America, Inc., 1947] viii, 120 p. illus. 

WILSON, LOUIS ROUND, ed. The chronicles of the Sesquicen- 
tennial. Chapel Hill, The University of North Carolina Press, 

1947. vii, 349 p. illus. $4.00. 


OOSTING, HENRY JOHN. The study of plant communities, an 
introduction to plant ecology. San Francisco, W. H. Freeman, 

1948. 389 p. illus. 

Applied Science and Useful Arts 

vices in North Carolina, report of the American academy of 
pediatrics study of child health services in North Carolina. 
[Winston-Salem, N. C] North Carolina Medical Journal, 1948. 
(North Carolina medical journal. April, 1948, Supplement) 
v, 29 p. Apply. 

campaign of North Carolina. [Chicago, American Hospital 
Association, 1947] 108 p. illus. Apply. 

COOKE, DENNIS HARGROVE. Using arithmetic (grades one- 
eight) Chicago, Benjamin H. Sanborn and Company. [1946] 
8 v. $1.16. a volume. 

248 The North Carolina Historical Review 

HASTINGS, LOUISE. The southern garden book [by] Louise 
and Donald Hastings, assisted by Charles J. Hudson, Jr. 
Garden City, N. Y., Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1948. viii, 
276 p. illus. $3.00. 

JOHNSON, WINGATE MEMORY. The years after fifty. New 
York, Whittlesey House, [1947] xii, 153 p. $2.00. 

LINKER, JOSEPH BURTON. Mathematics of finance, by J. B. 
Linker and M. A. Hill, Jr. New York, Henry Holt and Com- 
pany, Inc., [c.1948] 266 p. diagrs. $2.90. 

[LABARRE, MAURINE (BOIE)] New York City's baby book; 
a hand book for parents. New York, New York (City) Depart- 
ment of Health, [1947] 136 p. illus. pa. Apply. Illustrated by 
Nell Battle Booker. 

SION. Occupational information on furniture manufacturing 
in North Carolina. Raleigh, 1947. 153 p. illus, pa. Apply. 

SIMPSON, WILLIAM HAYS. Southern textile communities. 
[Charlotte, N. C, American Cotton Manufacturers Associa- 
tion, c.1948] 139 p. pa. Apply Author, Duke University, Dur- 
ham, N. C. 

TILLEY, NANNIE MAY. The bright-tobacco industry, 1860- 
1929. Chapel Hill, The University of North Carolina Press, 
[1948] xiv, 754 p. illus. $8.00. 

Fine Arts 

CUTTEN, GEORGE BARTON. The silversmiths of North Caro- 
lina. Raleigh, N. C, State Department of Archives and His- 
tory, 1948. v, 93 p. illus. pa. Apply. 

GREEN, PAUL. Song in the wilderness ; cantata for chorus and 
orchestra with baritone solo, poem by Paul Green, music by 
Charles Vardell. Chapel Hill, The University of North Caro- 
lina Press, 1947. viii, 79 p. illus. $4.00, $2.00 pa. 

NEWMAN, WILLIAM S. ed. Thirteen keyboard sonatas of the 
18th and 19th centuries, edited, with critical commentaries. 
Chapel Hill, The University of North Carolina Press, [c.1947] 
vii, 175 p. $5.00 pa. 


BAUGHER, RUBY DELL. Listening hills, Cynthiana, Ky., The 
Hobson Book Press, 1947. x, 245 p. $2.50. A poem about Daniel 

ELLER, WALTER F. Poems for smiles and thought. Raleigh, 
N. C, Author, c.1947. 39 p. Order from Author, 15 W. Hargett 
St., Raleigh, N. C. 

North Carolina Bibliography 1947-1948 249 

JARRELL, RANDALL. Losses. New York, Harcourt, Brace and 
Company, [1948] 68 p. $2.00. 

WILSON. HELEN MARTHA. Restless wilderness. Asheville, 
N. C, Book Mart, 1947. viii, 40 p. $2.00. 

Fiction 2 

ADER, PAUL FASSETT. The leaf against the sky. New York, 
Crown Publishers, [1947] 311 p. $3.00. 

BECKER, KATE HARBES. Was it worth while? Belmont, N. C, 
The Outline Company, 1947. 186 p. $3.00. 

BRANCH. HOUSTON. Diamond Head, by Houston Branch and 
Frank Waters. New York, Farrar, Straus and Company, 
1948. 371 p. $3.50. 

[DARGAN, OLIVE (TILFORD)] Sons of the Stranger, by 
Fielding Burke [pseud.] New York, Longmans, Green and 
Company, 1947. 405 p. $3.00. 

FURR, WILLIAM R. Tomorrow achieved. Kansas City 2, Mo., 
Chapman Publishers, 1946. 331 p. $3.00. 

HAYDN, HIRAM. The time is noon. New York, Crown Pub- 
lishers, [c.1948] 561 p. $3.50. 

KROLL, HARRY HARRISON. Darker grows the valley. Indian- 
apolis, Bobbs-Merrill Company, [1947] 400 p. $3.00. 

MERRICK, ELLIOTT. Passing by. New York, Macmillan Com- 
pany, 1947. 234 p. $3.00. 

NIGGLI, JOSEPHINA. Step down, elder brother; a novel. New 
York, Rinehart and Company, [1947] viii, 374 p. $3.00. 

RICKS, PEIRSON. The hunter's horn. New York, C. Scribner's 
Sons, 1947. 361 p. $3.00. 

RUARK, ROBERT CHESTER. Grenadine etching, her life and 
loves. Garden City, N. Y., Doubleday and Company, 1947. xi, 

270 p. $2.75. 

SLAUGHTER, FRANK GILL. The golden isle. Garden City, 
N. Y., Doubleday and Company, 1947. 373 p. $3.00. 

SMITH, BETTY. Tomorrow will be better ; a novel. New York, 
Harper and Brothers, [1948] 274 p. $3.00. 

TAYLOR, PETER HILLSMAN. A long Fourth, and other 
stories. New York, Harcourt, Brace and Company, [1948] x, 
166 p. $3.00. 

WALSER, RICHARD GAITHER, ed. North Carolina in the 
short story. Chapel Hill, The University of North Carolina 

Press, 1948. x, 309 p. $3.50. 

— — — — — _ i 

2 By a North Carolinian or with the scene laid in North Carolina. 

250 The North Carolina Historical Review 

WILLIAMS, BEN AMES. House divided. Boston, Houghton, 
Mifflin Company, 1947. xvi, 1514 p. $5.00. 

WORTH, KATHRYN. Sea change. New York, Doubleday and 
Company, Inc., 1948. 240 p. Juvenile. $2.25. 

Literature Other Than Poetry, Drama, or Fiction 

BAUM, HELENA (WATTS) The satiric and didactic in Ben 
Jonson's comedy. Chapel Hill, The University of North Caro- 
lina Press, 1947. vi, 192 p. $3.50. 

HOLMES, URBAN TIGNER, JR. ed. A critical bibliography of 
French literature. Volume 1. The Mediaeval period, edited by 
Urban T. Holmes, Jr. JSyracuse, N. Y.] Syracuse University 
Press, 1947. v. 1. $7.50. 

HOLMES, URBAN TIGNER, JR. A new interpretation of 
Chetien's Conte del Graal. Chapel Hill, The University of 
North Carolina, 1948. (University of North Carolina studies 
in the Romance languages and literatures. No. 8) 36 p. $1.50 

LEE, CHARLES, ed. North, East, South, West; a regional an- 
thology of American writing, New York, Howell, Soskin, Pub- 
lishers, Inc., [c.1945] 558 p. $3.75. Section on the South is 
edited by Struthers Burt. 

LINKER, ROBERT WHITE, ed. Aucassin et Nicolete. Chapel 
Hill, The University of North Carolina Press, [1948] viii, 49 
p. pa. 

LINKER, ROBERT WHITE, ed. Roman de Renart, branches 
MIL Chapel Hill, N. C, Robert Linker, c.1947. 84 p. pa. 

TAYLOR, GEORGE COFFIN. Essays of Shakespeare; an ar- 
rangement. New York, G. P. Putnam's Sons, [1947] xv, 144 p. 


ANDERSON, SUSAN (BRICKELL) compiler. Abstract of 
wills, Halifax County, North Carolina, 1760-1830. [Halifax, 
N. C, The Compiler] 1947. 91, 49 p. pa. $6.00. 

ANDERSON, SUSAN BRICKELL, compiler. Marriages, Hali- 
fax County, North Carolina. [Halifax, N. C, The Compiler] 
1948. [22] p. pa. $4.00. 

BROWN, LESLIE H., JR. Genealogy of the Farrior family. 
Wilmington, N. C, 1948. 345 p. $3.75. Order from the author, 
Warsaw, N. C. 

CAROLINA. N.C.D.A.R. genealogical register, members and 
Revolutionary ancestors . . . 1890 through 1947. New Bern, 
N. C, National Society Daughters of the American Revolu- 

North Carolina Bibliography 1947-1948 251 

tion of North Carolina, 1948. 185 p. 2.15 pa. Order from Miss 
Sara L. Stewart, New Bern, N. C. 

by Margaret Collins Denny Dixon and Elizabeth Chapman 
Denny Vann. New York, The National Historical Society, 
1944-1947. 2 v. illus. $25. 

History and Travel 

BAKER, JAMES MILLARD. Contending the grade in India. 
[Asheville, N. C] The Biltmore Press, c.1947, 297 p. illus. 

BLOODWORTH, MATTIE. History of Pender County, North 
Carolina. Richmond, Dietz Printing Company, 1947. x, 240 p. 
illus. $4.00. Order from the Author, Box 92, Burgaw, N, C. 

COMMITTEE. A history of Cabarrus County in the wars. 
[Concord, N. C] The Committee, [1947] 430, 2 p. illus. $5.00. 

CLYDE, PAUL HIBBERT. The Far East, a history of the im- 
pact of the West on eastern Asia. New York, Prentice-Hall, 
Inc., 1948. xxi, 862 p. $5.75. 

CORBITT, DAVID LEROY, ed. Explorations, descriptions, and 
attempted settlements of Carolina, 1584-1590. Raleigh, N. C. 
State Department of Archives and History, 1948. v, 136 p. 
illus. pa. Apply. 

COULTER, ELLIS MERTON. The South during Reconstruction, 
1865-1877. Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University Press, 
1947. (A History of the South. Volume 8) xii, 426 p. illus. 

DAVIDSON, DONALD. The Tennessee. New York, Rinehart and 
Company, 1948. v.2, v.l published in 1946. $3.50. 

DAVIS, EDWARD HILL. Historical sketches of Franklin Coun- 
ty. Raleigh, N. C, Edwards and Broughton Company, 1948. 
298 p. illus. $3.00. 

GARRETT, MITCHELL BENNETT. Europe since 1815 by 
Mitchell B. Garrett and James L. Godfrey. New York, F. S. 
Crofts and Company, 1947. xx, 763 p. illus. $5.00. 

HEWITT, ROBERT L. Work horse of the western front; the 
story of the 30th infantry division. Washington, Infantry 
Journal Press, [1946] x, 356 p. illus. $4.00. 

PARKER, HAROLD TALBOT ed. Historical background of the 
world today, a synopsis, by Harold T. Parker and Theodore 
Ropp. New York, Rinehart and Company, 1947. ix, 128 p. 
$1.25 pa. 

252 The North Carolina Historical Review 

PEGG, CARL HAMILTON, ed. American society and the chang- 
ing world, by C. H. Pegg [and others] New York, F. S. Crofts 
and Company, 1947. ix, 673 p. $4.00. 

RATCHFORD, BENJAMIN ULYSSES. Berlin reparations as- 
signment ; round one of the German peace settlement, by B. U. 
Ratchford and Wm. D. Ross. Chapel Hill, The University of 
North Carolina Press, [1947] xii, 259 p. $3.50. 

SYDNOR, CHARLES SACKETT. The development of southern 
sectionalism, 1819-1848. 3 Baton Rouge, Louisiana State Uni- 
versity Press, 1948. (A History of the South. Volume 5) xii, 
400 p. illus. $5.00. 

sources; their development and use. Knoxville, Tenn., 1947. 
2, 145 p. Apply. 

U. S. ARMY. 120TH INFANTRY. History of the 120th Infantry 
Regiment, by officers of the Regiment. Washington, The In- 
fantry Journal Press, [1947] viii, 266 p. illus. $5.85. 

WALLACE, LILLIAN PARKER. The papacy and European 
diplomacy, 1869-1878. Chapel Hill, The University of North 
Carolina Press, [1948] ix, 349 p. port. $6.00. 

WARREN, JULE BENJAMIN. North Carolina atlas and out- 
line maps, by Jule B. Warren and L. Polk Denmark. Raleigh, 
N. C, Warren Publishing Company, c.1947. 40 p. maps. $5.00. 

Autobiography and Biography 

BAKELESS, JOHN EDWIN. Fighting frontiersman: the life 
of Daniel Boone. New York, William Morrow and Company, 
1948. vii, 260 p. $2.75. 

CLARK, WALTER. The papers of Walter Clark, edited by Au- 
brey Lee Brooks and Hugh Talmage Lefler. Chapel Hill, The 
University of North Carolina Press, [1948] v.l, 1857-1901, 
illus. $6.00. 

COPPRIDGE, WILLIAM MAURICE. The presentation to the 
University of North Carolina of the portrait of Dr. William 
deBerniere MacNider; address, December 15, 1946. [Chapel 
Hill, N. C] Privately Printed, [1947] 27 p'. port. pa. Apply 
The School of Medicine, University of North Carolina. 

HORN, STANLEY FITZGERALD. Gallant rebel, the fabulous 
cruise of the C.S.S. Shenandoah. New Brunswick, [N. J.] 
Rutgers University Press, 1947. viii, 292 p. map. $2.75. 

JOHNSON, GERALD WHITE. The first captain, the story of 
John Paul Jones. New York, Coward-McCann, Inc., [1947] 
312 p. $3.50. 

3 Mayflower Award, 1948. 

North Carolina Bibliography 1947-1948 253 

JOHNSON, PAMELA HANSFORD. Hungry Gulliver ; an Eng- 
lish critical appraisal of Thomas Wolfe. New York, C. Scrib- 
ner's Sons, 1948. 170 p. $2.50. 

Thomas Wolfe; a critical study. London, W. Heine- 

mann, [1947] 138 p. port. London edition of the above. $2.50. 

MULLER, HERBERT JOSEPH. Thomas Wolfe. Norfolk, Conn., 
New Directions Books, [1947] 196 p. port. $2.00. 

QUINN, DAVID BEERS. Raleigh and the British Empire. Lon- 
don, Hodder and Stroughton, Lt., [1947] xiii, 284 p. illus. 5 s. 

New Editions and Reprints 

ADAMS, NICHOLSON BARNEY. Espana, introduction a su 
civilization. [New York] H. Holt and Company, [1947] vi, 
369 p. illus. Translation of The heritage of Spain. $3.00. 

BLOMQUIST, HUGO LEANDER. A guide to the spring and 
early summer flora of the Piedmont, North Carolina, by H. L. 
Blomquist and H. J. Oosting. [Durham, N. C. Printed by The 
Seeman Printery, Inc.] 1948. 4th edition. 

JAMES, WILLIAM DOBEIN. A sketch of the life of Brig. Gen. 
Francis Marion, and a history of his brigade . . . Marietta, Ga., 
Continental Book Company, 1948. 182, 39 p. $5.00. 

KEPHART, HORACE. Camping and woodcraft. New York, The 
Macmillan Company, [c.1917-1947] 2v. in 1. $2.95. 

KNOX, ROSE BELL. Marty and company on a Carolina farm. 
Garden City, N. Y., Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1946. x, 
280 p. illus. $1.00. Juvenile. 

LEFLER, HUGH TALMAGE, ed. North Carolina history told 
by contemporaries. Chapel Hill, The University of North Caro- 
lina Press, [c.1948] 502 p. $6.00. 

RANEY, RICHARD BEVERLY. Handbook of orthopaedic sur- 
gery, by Alfred R. Shands and Richard B. Raney. 3d ed. St. 
Louis, Mo., The C. V. Mosby Company, 1948. 574 p. illus. 

SLAUGHTER, FRANK GILL. In a dark garden. New York, 
Sun Dial Press, 1947. $1.49. 

TIMBERLAKE, HENRY. Lieut. Henry Timberlake's memoirs, 
1756-1765. Marietta, Ga., Continental Book Company, 1948. 
197 p. illus. $5.00. Order from H. A. Hicks, 87 Blue Ridge Ave., 
Asheville, N. C. 

WHITE, STEWART EDWARD. Daniel Boone, wilderness scout. 
Garden City, N. Y., Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1947. 308 p. 
$1.00. Juvenile. 

WOLFE, THOMAS. Look homeward, angel ; a story of the buried 
life, illus. by Douglas W. Gorsline. New York, C. Scribner's 
Sons, 1947. 662 p. illus. $5.00. 



Resource Management in North Carolina. By Paul W. Wager and Donald 
B. Hayman. (Chapel Hill: Institute for Research in Social Science. 1947. 
Pp. 192. Free.) 

This book is one of the results of a regional study conducted 
along state lines. In 1945 six southern states joined hands in pro- 
ducing similar studies. The Tennessee Valley Authority cooper- 
ated with money and staff members and the General Education 
Board helped finance the project. 

The authors, Professor Wager and Mr. Hayman, of Resource 
Management in North Carolina, were not concerned so much with 
the natural resources of the state as they were with the public or 
legal control of these resources. They divided their study into 
four large divisions : first, the rise and growth of public agencies 
dedicated to the protection and management of the state's re- 
sources ; second, the examination of their organization and pro- 
cedures ; third, the evolution of these procedures ; and fourth, the 
recommendations and conclusions for future progress. 

As early as 1738 a law was enacted to "Prevent Killing of 
Deer at Unreasonable Times," but the present resource agencies 
did not begin until 1891 with the establishment of the Geological 

All of the natural resources and their management are dis- 
cussed and evaluated, but land and water are given emphasis. 
The Soil Conservation Service of 1937 and the TVA are chief 
agencies. The authors declare: "The unrestricted pollution of 
North Carolina streams is without doubt the greatest single 
threat to her industrial development." 

In the fields of administrative control, fiscal management, and 
personnel management much has been done but more yet needs 
to be accomplished. During the year 1945-46 the federal and 
state governments spent more than $5,000,000 in North Carolina 
on the resource program. 

The authors say that North Carolina can be justly proud of the 
progress made in the use of the state's natural resources. They 
recommend with a view to improvement, however, continued re- 
search, education stressing the unity and undeveloped potential- 


Book Reviews 255 

ities of natural resources, methods of integrating the separate 
programs, personnel selected on basis of merit and freed from 
partisan politics, and legislative and administrative solution of 
problems of organization. 

No short review can do justice to this splendid factual study. 
As a teacher I have long felt the need for such a book, for refer- 
ence and for general reading. It should meet an urgent need in 
both colleges and high schools. No member of the General As- 
sembly or office holder can afford to neglect it. The volume 
deserves and will have wide distribution. Having been financed 
by the General Education Board, the book is for free distribu- 

D. J. Whitener. 

Appalachian State Teachers College, 

Boone, N. C. 

Henry Harrisse On Collegiate Education. By Edgar W. Knight. (Chapel 
Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. 1947. Pp. 54.) 

Dr. Edgar W. Knight of the University of North Carolina has 
made a contribution to the history of education by bringing to 
light a previously unpublished essay on higher education by 
Henry Harrisse, an author little known by the average student 
of education. 

At the time of Mr. Harrisse's writing, the "Cultural" view- 
point and the "formal discipline" conception largely dominated 
the thinking and the practice in education. However, for a cen- 
tury or more such European educators and writers as Rousseau, 
Pestalozzi, Comenius, Bacon, and others had been fostering a 
different conception of education, and Harrisse in his essay 
espouses a broader, a more liberal, and a more practical educa- 
tion than was then offered in the comparatively young Univer- 
sity of North Carolina. He challenges, for example, the conten- 
tion that Latin and Greek have a greater "disciplinary" value 
than French and other modern languages. He also says, "all of 
our colleges, universities, and classical academies, seem to have 
adopted a stereotyped course of studies and mode of instruction." 
He favors not only a broadened and more practical curriculum, 
but better teaching and more effective study. 

256 The North Carolina Historical Review 

"That which we substitute [for the formal classical studies — 
Latin and Greek] instead, is neither new nor obsolete. It con- 
sists merely in extending several of the very studies pursued in 
all the literary institutions of this country, adding a few others, 
and adopting a method of instruction which exacts more from 
both student and instructor. Through this method, the whole 
sum of physical and mental application which can be expected 
from an American youth in educational pursuits, will be ob- 

"The vast amount of time hitherto devoted to an imperfect ac- 
quisition of the dead languages, we transfer to a profound study 
of our own language and literature, a foreign tongue universally 
spoken, that can be acquired in a few years, and which at the 
same time trains the mental powers in a satisfactory degree; a 
comprehensive study of History, both ancient and modern ; Draw- 
ing and Penmanship, Mental Philosophy, Logic, Constitutional 
Law, Political Economy, Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, 
Chemistry, Geology and Gymnastics, complete the course." 

Harrisse also discusses the still controversial subjects of gene- 
ral and specific, or vocational education. On the whole, the 
article is well organized and is presented in scholarly fashion. 
Pertinent questions for education then and now are treated in a 
thoughtful and challenging manner. The students of education 
and the interested layman, alike, will find food for thought in 
Dr. Knight's fifty-four page editorial presentation of Harrisse's 

B. Y. Tyner. 

Meredith College, 
Raleigh, N. C. 

The Papers of Walter Clark, 1857-1901. Edited by Aubrey Lee Brooks and 
Hugh T. Lefler. (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. 
1948. Pp. xv, 607. $6.00.) 

When a man has lived a long and useful life spanning critical 
epochs in the history of our nation, when he has earned outstand- 
ing distinction in public positions, including the highest judicial 
office in the gift of his native state, when he has fought valiantly 
in peace and war for the right as he saw it, when with a vision 
possessed by few of his contemporaries he clearly saw far-off 

Book Reviews 257 

horizons — then not only his actions and deeds but also his words 
and thoughts become of rare importance. By this token, Aubrey 
Brooks and Hugh Lefler have placed primarily every North 
Carolinian and secondarily every true American, in their debt, 
for the patience, tact, and good taste they have displayed as 
editors of the volume under review. 

As a letter-writer, Judge Clark cannot compete with Mr. 
Justice Holmes on the score of intellectual brilliance, nor can he 
vie with the amazing versatility displayed by Thomas Jefferson. 
Yet from the standpoint of self-revelation, Judge Clark goes 
beyond both Holmes and Jefferson. A reader of Judge Clark's 
letters, who went no further, would have a pretty complete pic- 
ture of the man. For he sets forth in his letters the reasons for 
the faith that was in him as a social crusader, far ahead of his 
time. Judge Clark's epistolary style is direct and trenchant, 
"weasel words" are not for him. 

A captious critic might point out that many of the controver- 
sies into which Judge Clark threw his very soul were local and 
provincial. At best, that would be a half-truth, for it has been 
well said that provincialism touched with genius, or even talent, 
becomes by subtle alchemy, cosmopolitanism. For example, there 
is unquestionably much that is peculiar to North Carolina in 
the Clark-Kilgo controversy which shook the Old North State to 
its foundations. Yet that episode throws light on every contest 
between advanced educational liberalism and tyrannical academic 

Practically every reader will find in these letters views that 
he does not share, but that is as it should be. And the fact that 
Judge Clark's ideas were deeply colored by his own personal ex- 
periences lends added historical value to what he thought. Thus, 
Judge Clark's fierce advocacy of the election of federal judges 
by the people runs absolutely counter to the view of this reviewer. 
But it is only fair to point out that Judge Clark's associations 
with the federal judges of his day were altogether unhappy. This 
reviewer is himself a federal judge, who owes his tenure to 
presidential appointment. And Judge Clark's enemies, many of 
whom were altogether to his credit, could not in any fairness 
claim that he does not set forth his ideas with clarity and vigor, 
with charm and originality. 

258 The North Carolina Historical Review 

There is hardly a person of real consequence in North Caro- 
lina during his day who is not mentioned in these letters of 
Judge Clark. And a valuable contribution by the editors is a 
note telling the reader who and what each of these persons is. 
Yet the correspondents of Judge Clark were not limited to those 
usually considered as important. Through these letters there 
flashes a panorama of persons of every degree and station — a 
variegated collection of people rarely seen save on the grand 
opera stage where kings and dukes, lords and ladies, doctors, 
lawyers, farmers, peasants, and slaves all sing together with 
lusty abandon to make up a swelling chorus. 

The volume is clearly printed, copiously illustrated, admirably 
indexed. Before each period of Judge Clark's life covered by his 
letters written during that particular period, is an explanatory 
sketch, etched by the editors with brevity and charm, which 
readers will find exceedingly helpful in enabling them more fully 
to understand and appreciate the letters. 

Finally, it is this reviewer's considered opinion that our Ameri- 
can life would acquire a richer and deeper meaning if we had 
more Walter Clarks, more Aubrey Brookses, more Hugh Leflers. 
A fighting crusader has happily found, in this value, two sym- 
pathetic and sincere editors. 

Armistead M. Dobie. 

Charlottesville, Virginia 

The Building and the Builders of a City: High Point, North Carolina. Com- 
piled by F. J. Sizemore, Executive Secretary, High Point Chamber of 
Commerce. (High Point: Hall Printing Company. 1947. Pp. vi, 329. Free 

This book is made up of a random selection of items from the 
history of the High Point area since its beginning as a white set- 
tlement in the late colonial period. The first historical records 
are to be found in the reports of Baptist and Quaker meetings 
shortly after 1750. There are numerous family names and highly 
suggestive incidents in the era of handicraft manufacturing. 
Both the name and the town of High Point are described as 

Book Reviews 259 

originating in its selection as a way station of the North Caro- 
lina Railroad. The whole work constitutes an interesting picture 
of a transition over a century and a half from an agrarian econ- 
omy to an industralized urban life. 

One cannot but doubt, however, the validity of the compiler's 
feeling "that the publication contains much valuable and in- 
teresting data which can be used in the writing of a real history 
of High Point." The work is so loaded with names and trite 
materials that little room is left for "valuable and interesting 
data." A two-page table of contents partially atones for the lack 
of an index. Many of the items are personal accounts with no 
indication of the sources on which they were originally based. 
The most valuable materials in the book are the excerpts from 
public records and from The High Point Enterprise, especially 
the Golden Anniversary issue of January 20, 1935. The prospec- 
tive author can by reading this book gain some idea of the nature 
of these sources, but he will hardly find the excerpts here given 
already fitted to his needs. 

The Building and the Builders of a City is certainly not his- 
tory : it is doubtful whether it can be used directly as source ma- 
terial for writing history. It contains some passages of undoubted 
local interest and others that cast fitful rays into a relatively 
dark area of history. Its very faults demonstrate that trained 
historians would do well to write more local history and criticize 
the efforts of amateurs less than has been the custom recently. 
For the past half century most of the basic research in state and 
local history has been done by the apprentices in the craft whose 
very success has meant their promotion to other types of work. 
As a result, American history is in grave danger of losing that 
vitality imparted to it by a former generation of masters who 
continued local research as an integral part of their mature 
scholarship. Viewed in this light, this book becomes a challenge 
to every competent historian who has a few hours per week that 
might be turned to account in collecting and editing local ma- 

Paul Murray. 

East Carolina Teachers College, 
Greenville, N. C. 

260 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Virginia's Mother Church and the Political Conditions Under Which it Grew. 
By George MacClaren Brydon. (Richmond, Virginia: Virginia Historical 
Society. 1947. Pp. xxii, 571. $7.50.) 

According to a statement in the preface this volume tells the 
story of the Anglican Church in Virginia for the years 1607 to 
1727, the first period ; it is to be followed by a second volume for 
the second period, 1727 to 1814. Possibly a third volume for the 
third period, that since 1814, is in contemplation, but it is not 
definitely promised. 

The present volume, though only one-third of the whole, is 
monumental — monumental in the number and size of its pages, 
printed normally in eight-point, with quotations and notes in 
smaller types, all well documented and indicating a prodigious 
amount of labor and pains. 

In the preface the author indicates that Virginia's Mother 
Church is to have encomiastic qualities. He charges that Hawks 
and Meade, the first "accredited historians of the Episcopal 
Church in the United States, having only a very limited amount 
of records to guide them," did not hestitate to present the dark- 
est possible view of moral and religious conditions in Virginia, 
and in support of their "opinions" had misinterpreted their rec- 
ords. Later historians of the Church had followed Hawks and 
Meade, and what was worse, they had been the dupes of denomi- 
national historians, accepting their darkening and sometimes 
imaginary stories of the church as "gospel truth." "Surely, it is 
desirable," says he, "for the reputation of Virginia and her 
Mother Church . . . that a history of religion in the colony should 
be written." For more than twenty years the author had been 
obsessed with such views, and had expressed them in his intro- 
duction to Goodwin's The Colonial Church in Virginia. Here at 
last is the desired "trustworthy" history, one in which proper 
care is taken of "the reputation of Virginia and her Mother 
Church," Such is the reviewer's inference. 

Very regrettably Dr. Brydon has sought to recommend his own 
work by speaking disparagingly of that of Dr. Francis Hawks, 
whose readers and admirers, among whom are many able and 
respected historical writers, have firm confidence in his honesty, 
and have often praised him because he recognized that "the soul 
of history is Truth," and among the first of our American his- 

Book Reviews 261 

torians based his various histories on documents he himself had 
discovered after much industrious research. They have also 
obesrved Dr. Hawks' passionate love for his Church, and that, 
while he does not attempt to conceal the fact that it suffered 
much from unworthy ministers, he presents it as superior to all 
the evils that beset it and as having the promise of potency of its 
later triumphant career. Doubtless many discriminating mem- 
bers of that great Church have come to a higher appreciation of 
it from reading the sober and judicious narrative of Hawks than 
the work under review with its many highly partisan statements 
can possible give them. 

After reading the author's preface one is not surprised to find 
that he has taken much care that his volume shall contain noth- 
ing, or as little as possible, that is discreditable to the Mother 
Church. Though he is undertaking to write "an exhaustive his- 
tory," he makes no use of the writings of those whom he "mis- 
likes or slights." He does not once refer to the histories of 
Hawks, and to Meade only in a footnote. A good example of his 
method is seen in his treatment of the subject of Quakers. Seek- 
ing to show that the Quakers received proper treatment in the 
Virginia of 1660 he freely uses the Journal of Thomas Story, an 
English Quaker who makes record of his kind entertainment by the 
governor and other prominent Virginians, but fails to mention 
the journals of George Fox and William Edmundson and Bishop's 
New England Judged, in all of which there is much about the 
Quakers of Virginia, while in the last named are accounts of the 
persecutions of Quakers, including the story of the barbarous 
whipping by public officers of "two respectable Quaker women, 
refugees from persecution in Massachusetts." Brydon says 
nothing of this, although account is taken of it not only by Hawks 
but also by P. A. Bruce in his Institutional History of Virginia, 
a work known to Dr. Brydon and highly praised by him, making 
it almost certain that while he knew the story of the whipping he 
omitted it. One has only to read and compare the accounts of the 
Quakers as given by Bruce and Brydon to be convinced of how 
partial is that of the latter. 

Seemingly intent on showing that the Quakers deserved any 
harsh treatment they received in Virginia during the days of 
Governor Spotswood, the author rehearses the governor's dis- 

262 The North Carolina Historical Review 

credited stories of the great wickedness of the North Carolina 
Quakers in the Tuscarora War but makes no mention of the 
fact that the contemporary Governor Eden of North Carolina 
speaks of the loyalty and helpfulness of the Quakers in the war. 
This is told in the Colonial Records of North Carolina, a series 
which possibly Dr. Brydon did not consult. 

Often in the course of his narrative the author has found it 
necessary to tell of an incident in which Virginia and her Church 
are seen in a sorry light. Then he has been ready with words of 
interpretation, extenuation, inference, deduction, and opinion. 
Very frequently his statements are introduced by such expres- 
sions as "one must infer," "this would seem," "the strong pre- 
sumption is," "it is quite easy to understand," "quite possibly," 
and "one can imagine." At times also he writes at length to sus- 
tain his view that while the measures resorted to against Quak- 
ers, Puritans, and Cromwellites were severe, they were necessary 
if the cause of true religion was not to suffer harm. Virginia and 
her Church were always justified. 

To read Virginia's Mother Church, however, is to recognize 
the work's immense value. It is the result of more than twenty 
years of devoted labor by an able, interested, zealous, and in- 
defatigable scholar and historian. It makes available to the 
general reader in well ordered chapters and in an easily read 
narrative great treasures of information, some of it old, but 
much of it new and gathered by painstaking research through a 
prodigious number of documents never before used for such a 
purpose. The author is to be much praised for making his work 
a narrative of both the political and the religious, for the two 
are inseparable in real life and this close relationship should be 
regarded by writers of history. 

In the volume there are twenty-two chapters. In the first nine 
is told the story of "Church and State under the Virginia Com- 
pany, 1607-1624." All chapters are interesting, but perhaps the 
most interesting are those which tell of the spread of the settle- 
ments through the burroughs and plantations and the organiza- 
tion of the parishes. The thirteen remaining chapters tell of 
"The Church under the Stuarts." Among the most interesting of 
these are the two chapters on "James Blair, Commissary," in the 
first of which Blair's work in organizing William and Mary 

Book Reviews 263 

College is told. The least interesting of all is the chapter on 
"Colonel Spotswood's Plan and Failure." The appendices are 
largely devoted to the various laws, civil, military, and ecclesias- 
tical, of the period, and to rare documents relating to the life of 
the Church. The notes which are printed at the close of each 
chapter and the appendices have great historical interest. 

George W. Paschal. 

Wake Forest, N. C. 

Hugh Davis and his Alabama Plantation. By Weymouth T. Jordan. (Uni- 
versity, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press. 1948. Pp. 177. $3.00.) 

When the late U. B. Phillips completed his excellent studies of 
slavery and the plantation economy of the ante-bellum South, 
he fully realized that he was attempting a synthesis before the 
preliminary monographs had been written. Since then, a number 
of students of the ante-bellum South, utilizing a wealth of plant- 
ers' diaries, papers, and plantation journals— sources that Phil- 
lips exploited to the limited extent that they were then available 
— have produced excellent monographs on slavery in several 
southern states and case studies of various plantations. To the 
growing list of such titles, Weymouth T. Jordan of the Alabama 
Polytechnic Institute now adds this study of a cotton planter 
of Perry County, Alabama, and his plantation, Beaver Bend, 
in the years 1848-1901. 

Although the coverage extends from 1848 to 1901, the major 
portion of the contents treats the period 1848-1862 when Beaver 
Bend was under the active direction of Hugh Davis. The eight 
chapters include accounts of the rise of the plantation economy 
in the Alabama black-belt in the years following the War of 
1812, plantation management, the overseer, the purchase and 
care of slaves, the management and work of slaves, the purchase 
of supplies and subsistence farming, production and sale of cot- 
ton, and the vicissitudes of Beaver Bend in the post-Civil War 
years and its final loss by the Davis family. 

Using to good advantage the vast amount of material in the 
Davis papers and farm journals, the author writes interestingly, 
if at times in too much unnecessary detail, of Davis's operation 
of Beaver Bend in the 1850's. Particularly good is the treatment 

264 The North Carolina Historical Review 

of Davis's farming methods and his management of his Negro 
slaves. In most instances Jordan wisely does not generalize on 
the basis of Davis's experiences but on page 51 he makes the 
highly debatable point that "all in all, the position of the south- 
ern overseer was desirable neither from a social nor an economic 
standpoint." While perhaps true so far as social status is con- 
cerned, there is much evidence to indicate that the overseer's 
economic status in some parts of the South was relatively good. 
This reviewer was disappointed at the almost complete absence 
of information on two topics, the cost of producing cotton and 
the social and political life of Davis and his family. If, however, 
the sources provided no data on these subjects the author is not 
to be held accountable for their omission. Jordan's study is a 
welcome addition to the growing body of literature on the planta- 
tion economy of the ante-bellum South. The book contains a 
useful bibliography and index. 

J. Carlyle Sitterson. 

The University of North Carolina, 
Chapel Hill, N. C. 

Teaching Local History in Today's World. By George L. Oeste, editor. 
(Philadelphia, Pa.: Middle States Council for the Social Studies. 1948. 
Pp. x, 98. $1.00.) 

By use of a good title, Teaching Local History in Today's 
World, the Middle States Council for the Social Studies has pre- 
pared a pertinent publication designed to increase interest in 
local history without prejudice to the need for an understanding 
of national and world affairs. A compilation of excellent papers 
by historians experienced in teaching local history and govern- 
ment, the bulletin presents concrete suggestions for applying 
the techniques of local research and study. 

Without controversy, the writers support the contention that 
the logical sequence in social education demands that a student 
should first learn and best learn those factors and conditions 
prevalent in his immediate environment. Such reasoning adheres 
to that popular belief in educational psychology that people find 
satisfaction in studying whatever is emotionally near to them. 
In a similar view, the writers of these stimulating papers ad- 

Book Reviews 265 

vance the notion that if a student is given the opportunity to 
study local history and attack local problems, he simultaneously 
gains a functional role in studying and solving national and 
world affairs. 

In addition to protecting their interests in local history, the 
authors are very liberal in describing actual projects and units 
which have been undertaken in surveying community and state 
history in several of the eastern states. Particular emphasis is 
given to the possibilities of the Junior Historian Movement as 
an agency fully capable of creating within youth the desire to 
discover and preserve choice bits of local heritage. 

In scope, the publication contains materials of interest to 
teachers and students at all levels — elementary, secondary, and 
college. Likewise, it treats local history as an inclusive area with 
political, social, technological, and economic implications. 

Of special interest to North Carolina readers is the attention 
devoted to resource-use education. One chapter treats community 
relationships and proposes the process for identifying and using 
local resources with the ultimate objective of improving the 
quality of living in the community. 

J. E. Miller. 

State Department of Public Instruction, 
Raleigh, N. C. 

The Territorial Papers of the United States. Vol. XIII, The Territory of 
Louisiana-Missouri, 1803-1806. Edited by Clarence Edwin Carter. (Wash- 
ington, D. C: Government Printing Office. 1948. Pp. xi, 641. Preface, 
symbols, index. $3.50.) 

With the appearance of volume XIII, The Territory of Louisi- 
ana-Missouri, 1803-1806, the State Department resumes publica- 
tion of The Territorial Papers of the United States, after the 
war-imposed curtailment of the enormous and historically sig- 
nificant project. 

The series was conceived in 1931 when Dr. Clarence E. Carter 
was appointed editor of The Territorial Papers, and the first 
volume appeared three years later. Prior to the stopping of pub- 
lication owing to the war, twelve volumes had appeared, covering 
the Old Northwest, the Southwest, Mississippi, Indiana, Orleans, 
and Michigan territories. The present volume, the first of three 

266 The North Carolina Historical Review 

which will contain selections of important documents pertaining 
to the Territory of Louisiana-Missouri from 1803 to 1821, covers 
the period from 1803 to 1806. 

Volume XIII opens with the acquisition of the territory in 
1803 and the subsequent transfer of Upper Louisiana to the 
United States. There is a heavy proportion of the materials 
which pertain to the administration of the first territorial gov- 
ernor, General James Wilkinson, and the selection is justified 
because for the first and only time in American territorial his- 
tory the civil and military administration was united in one 
administrator. The policy failed and its failure was evident 
before the removal of Wilkinson as governor. 

The scope of the documents is wide and varied, as were the 
problems of a huge territory and its citizens. There are prob- 
lems concerning land (perhaps the most important problem 
the Federal government had to deal with), relations with the 
new Americans, establishment and maintenance of custom 
houses, military posts, Indian agencies, roads, post offices, courts, 
and a workable financial system. The citizens of the territory, 
extremely varied in their nationalistic and economic back- 
grounds, constantly petitioned Congress, it was impossible to 
please them, and Congress constantly replied to their complaints, 
initiated relief, redressed grievances, and calmed those who were 
desirous of holding office. 

The present volume maintains the same high standard of se- 

lection, editing, and general scholarship set by earlier volumes 

of the series. It is a worthy addition to one of the most important 

and significant publication projects in American historiography. 

Edwin Adams Davis. 

Louisiana State University, 
Baton Rouge, La. 

The Development of Southern Sectionalism, 1819-1848. By Charles S. 
Sydnor. (Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana State University Press. 1948. 
Pp. 400. $5.00.) 

Professor Sydnor' s book is volume V of The History Of The 
South being published under the sponsorship of Louisiana State 
University and the Trustees of the Littlef ield Fund for Southern 
History at the University of Texas. It deals with the years when 

Book Reviews 267 

"Cotton Kingdom" was rising to dominance in the South, and 
when sectional consciousness was developing under prosperity 
and outside criticism. The book, of necessity, falls into 
two distinct parts. The first is largely descriptive and is an 
effort to depict the "internal life of the section in all its complex 
manifestations." The second division deals with the relations 
of the South to the rest of the nation. 

The picture of the South that emerges from Sydnor's pages is 
balanced and fair, even though not exactly flattering. Farmer 
as well as planter receives his dues and the efforts to improve 
methods in agriculture are well described. The towns with their 
merchants, artisans, and professional groups are not neglected 
as is so often the case. The vexing problem of internal improve- 
ments is treated largely as a taxation problem with emphasis 
placed primarily on the difficulty of securing adequate trans- 
portation facilities where state appropriations were small and 
opposition to federal action strong. Backwardness along indus- 
trial lines and the hampering effects of slavery are admitted but 
attention is also directed to the efforts to diversify the economic 
effort. The financial story of the Lower South, on the other 
hand, would be much more satisfactory if understood as a normal 
western expression rather than a strictly southern one, and the 
whole story of southern marketing and the growing dependence 
on northern credit needs elaboration. 

One of the best sections of the book is that dealing with local 
government. The spread of the county system from Virginia to 
the wider South is held responsibile for a situation in which the 
few at the top of the social-economic ladder ruled and extended 
their power upward into state and nation. It produced a real aris- 
tocracy, but it also led to a genuine democratic upsurge which 
rewrote constitution after constitution, broadened the franchise, 
and corrected evils in representation. That in turn must have had 
something to do with the wider drive for social reform in educa- 
tion, treatment of prisoners and the insane, and the ending of 
imprisonment for debt. 

Sydnor's handling of social and cultural affairs is thoroughly 
orthodox. Elementary education was backward; colleges were 
somewhat better. The evangelical sects were strong; literary 
efforts were limited and soon turned definitely along regional 

268 The North Carolina Historical Review 

lines. Slavery was early under something of a cloud but was 
accepted and defended with ardor as cotton spread and profits 

The second part of Sydnor's volume, dealing with national 
relationships, begins with the panic of 1819 and runs through 
the Mexican War. The panic seems to have created in the South 
much distrust of Yankee ways and to have united the South and 
West against the National Bank. It formed the setting for the 
Missouri struggle in which slavery was attacked and Southern 
fears aroused. Some men thought that "behind the specious 
mask of humanity" there lay "some sinister design — inimical 
to the interests of the Southern states." Many saw it as a move 
to check the influence of the South in national affairs. It began 
the drawing of a line between the slave and free states which 
widened as John Marshall's decisions increased the central gov- 
ernment's power and protective tariffs strengthened northern 
economy. John Taylor, and then John C. Calhoun, led the south- 
ern opposition and began to stress state rights as a remedy. The 
nullification controversy widened the gap, sharpened the weap- 
ons, but failed to produce complete southern unity. That came 
only when the attack on slavery began to broaden into an attack 
on the South as a section. Then came the full defense of slavery 
and the foolish belief that the Constitution alone could protect 
established interests. 

The "vicissitudes of an agricultural economy," which included 
both "hard times" and a rapid falling behind the North in 
growth and prosperity, in urban development, and in railroad 
building, added the final push. The South went definitely onto 
the defensive and developed that strange complex which "in- 
feriors" are wont to reveal of creating a false notion of superior- 
ity to hide an unacceptable truth. 

This reviewer would put far less stress on the part which the 
events through nullification played in producing southern con- 
sciousness than has the author and much more on those occurring 
after 1840. The early events did reveal certain differences be- 
tween interests and values in specific cases and places, but they 
did not stir the section as a whole either to consciousness or to 
unity. Furthermore, he is not so certain that "the affirmation 
of perfection" was the simple product of a realization of inferi- 

Book Reviews 269 

ority. Few Americans anywhere felt that. It seems more reason- 
able to believe that southerners, seeing the confusion and lack 
of stability in northern life as it moved into the modern pattern, 
actually thought it inferior. The North under the industrial 
revolution had every reason to question all inherited social- 
economic relationships, while the South with a persisting agri- 
cultural life would most certainly hold to old values with honest 
conviction and certainty. 

Avery Craven. 

The University of Chicago, 
Chicago, 111. 

Conservatism in Early American History. By Leonard Woods Labaree. (New 
York: New York University Press. 1948. Pp. 182. $3.75.) 

"Conservatism," writes Professor Labree in his introduction 
to this volume of six lectures delivered at New York University 
in the spring of 1947, "is an attitude of mind that tends to pro- 
mote resistance to change. It is not an absolute but a variable." 
He then proceeds to investigate the influences, so far as they can 
be historically studied, which, in his judgment, combined to 
form the conservative mind in America in the hundred years 
preceding the American Revolution. He finds them to be, in 
brief, high social position with commensurate political impor- 
tance, wealth either in land or gained in trade, membership in a 
church which taught respect for tradition and authority as a 
moral duty, an education based upon traditional subjects and 
methods, and a belief in the British constitution as a perfect 
blending of the "monarchial, aristocratical and democratical 
forms of government." The presentation of the details of this 
social, economic, religious, and intellectual climate of eighteenth- 
century America, in so far as it tended to favor the development 
of a conservative point of view, is an enlightening counter-bal- 
ance to the more usual emphasis upon the great social changes 
that characterized that century. The new, radically different, 
and dramatic changes have always attracted attention. Yet the 
continuity and stability in our civilization have been chiefly 
maintained by the conservatives and not by the radicals. Prof es- 

270 The North Carolina Historical Review 


sor Labaree performs a great service in calling attention to this 
side of American history. 

The author's specific aim in his final lecture is to explain the 
loyalists. On the whole, he presents them in a less attractive light 
than that which has been customary with the historical revision- 
ists. Their background of interests and training only partly ex- 
plains them. They were men who were naturally disposed to 
dislike change, they were cautious, slow to make up their minds, 
and pessimistic as to value of anything new. Professor Labaree, 
even while meeting his scholarly standard of keeping the histo- 
rian's even balance, gives strong support, particularly in his con- 
cluding pages, to the thesis, too long the exclusive property of 
the super-patriot, who has maintained it belligerently, unin- 
telligently, and without comprehension, that Americans need not 
apologize for the American Revolution. 

In covering so long a period, and in dealing with so compli- 
cated a subject, no two persons would select the same details 
nor give the same emphasis to the factors selected. This reviewer 
would be grateful if Professor Labaree had developed in greater 
detail the connection, if any, between the opposition in New 
England to the "enthusiasm" of the Great Awakening and the 
conservatism characteristic of the loyalists. He wonders whether 
or not in matters of new scientific interests and of up-to-date 
(for the eighteenth century) educational training, conservatives 
of the loyalist brand were less advanced than the leaders on the 
American side. And he would have particularly enjoyed (as un- 
doubtedly Professor Labaree's listeners would have, had time 
permitted) an additional lecture on the conservatives on the 
American side of the Revolution, men like James Bowdoin in 
Massachusetts, and their counterparts elsewhere, the men who 
gave the strength of stability and purpose and respectability to 
the colonial cause. Would the men of this type have been satis- 
fied if the British social and political system had been flexible 
enough to give them room for office-holding and advancement? 
Was the suggestion made by an Englishman during the Revolu- 
tion that one way of appeasing American leaders was to give 
them titles of nobility an utterly ridiculous thought? With more 
time and space, perhaps the lecturer might have developed the 

Book Reviews 271 

external influences which forced peaceful, slow-thinking, con- 
servatives — possibly the majority of Americans — finally to take 
a stand, some on one side, some on the other. 

The volume is a suggestive study, clearly presented, on an 
important theme. 

Robert E. Moody. 

Boston University, 

Boston, Mass. 

The Great Rehearsal. The Story of the Making and Ratifying of the Con- 
stitution of the United States. By Carl Van Doren. (New York: The Vik- 
ing Press. 1948. Pp. xii, 336. $3.75.) 

"The Great Rehearsal" is an inept title because it is not de- 
scriptive of the contents of the book and it subjects the author 
to the possible charge of utilizing his account of a great event in 
American history for the propagandist purpose of promoting 
the United Nations. The Federal Convention, called to propose 
amendments to the Articles of Confederation, boldly wrote a new 
constitution creating a federal government with authority and 
power to deal with federal affairs. "And many citizens of many 
nations are now convinced that only by some similar alteration of 
the Charter of the United Nations can the United Nations de- 
velop from a league of states into a government capable of se- 
curing the peace and welfare of the world." The efforts of the 
supporters of the Federal Constitution "might be ... a rehearsal 
for the federal governments of the future." The parallelism be- 
tween the United States in 1787 and the United Nations in 1948 
is exaggerated. Unlike the nations today, the thirteen American 
states in 1787 had the common bonds of similar language, re- 
ligion, culture, moral concepts, and political institutions, the 
English common law, long experience in allegiance to one gov- 
ernment, and experience with the republican form of government 
on both the state and federal levels. 

The story of the Convention and its work covers 175 pages — a 
space inadequate for the complicated story of the successive 
stages in the evolution of the Constitution from the Virginia 
plan. The story deals chiefly with the nationalistic Virginia plan 
and the "Federal Compromise" between the large and small 

272 The North Carolina Historical Review 

states over representation in the bicameral Congress. Like the 
historians of the nineteenth century the author makes a whip- 
ping-boy of the Articles of Confederation instead of represent- 
ing it as the first constitution of the United States, more signifi- 
cant for its strength and constructive record than for its defects 
and failures. The emphasis is upon personalities, particularly 
Washington and Franklin, though neither played a major role 
in the framing of the Constitution, rather than upon forces and 
conditions which help explain the movement for the Convention 
as well as the work of the Convention and the contest over rati- 
fication. Inadequate treatment is given to the important work 
of the Convention during the latter half of its session; to its 
revolutionary, extra-legal decisions ; to the classes, interests, and 
areas which were not well represented ; to the highly significant 
political and economic provisions upon which the conservative, 
aristocratic, well-to-do delegates were in harmony and agree- 
ment ; and to the conflicts between northern and southern states, 
between the radical and conservative points of view respecting 
government and economics, and between the champions of local 
self-government and of nationalism. 

The state ratification contests are hurriedly sketched in sixty- 
three pages with chief emphasis upon the Federalist side of the 
controversy and upon the contests in Pennsylvania, Massachu- 
setts, South Carolina, and Virginia. By presenting the Federal- 
ists and their arguments in a highly favorable light and by fail- 
ing to state adequately the case for the Anti-Federalists and 
using derogatory adjectives in describing them and their argu- 
ments, the author reveals a Federalist bias. It has long been 
established that neither side had a monopoly on virtue, education, 
intelligence, and patriotism. The political, social, economic and 
geographic cleavages produced by the ratification contest are not 
adequately analyzed. Impressed by the widely published dis- 
cussions, the author concludes that "To live in that year was to 
get a political education." If so, why did only about 160,000 in a 
population of about 4,000,000 show sufficient interest to vote in 
the elections of delegates to the state ratifying conventions? 

A final chapter of thirteen pages describing the Federalist 
processions and celebrations in Boston, Philadelphia, Charleston, 
and New York has no substantial value or significance. 

Book Reviews 273 

The work has no footnotes or bibliography, but frequent quo- 
tations indicate that it is based largely on the primary sources 
of the federal and state ratifying conventions. Most of the perti- 
nent monographs are listed in "Sources and Acknowledgements" 
but the author does not accept the reinterpretation made by 
scholars during the past half-century. He asserts that the eco- 
nomic interpretation made by Charles A. Beard in 1913 "has 
since been overemphasized" and refers to some of the his- 
torians who have with great industry and realism presented 
new facts about forces and events which have somewhat modi- 
fied the eulogistic, uncritical, hero-worshipping story of early 
lay historians as "Some later enemies or censurers of the Con- 

The Federal Constitution has by evolution become an instru- 
ment of democratic government but the author seems to think 
it was conceived and written in the spirit of democracy. "The 
masters of the Convention had put their faith in the people and 
the people had justified it." It is difficult to reconcile this con- 
clusion with the frequently expressed distrust of the people by 
the framers with their deliberate effort to plan a government 
which would be difficult for the mass of people to control, and 
with the meager popular vote for delegates favoring ratification. 

The Great Rehearsal makes no scholarly contribution to the 
subject and the author does not add to his already respectable 
stature as a historian. The work in fact represents a reactionary 
swing toward the picture drawn by John Fiske in 1888 which has 
long since been seriously modified by the well-established find- 
ings of McLaughlin, Libby, Farrand, Beard, Nevins, Burnett, 
and Jensen. 

But The Great Rehearsal was written for the general public 
rather than for historians, and as a Book-of-the-Month-Club 
selection it will reach a large reading public which, if not excited 
by following the serious arguments of the leaders, often ex- 
pressed in their own words, will be pleased with the author's 
style, emphases, and interpretations which reinforce the deep 
reverence of the public for the fathers and their work, the Con- 
stitution of the United States. 

A. R. Newsome. 

The University of North Carolina, 
Chapel Hill, N. C. 

274 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The Papacy and European Diplomacy, 1869-1878. By Lillian Parker Wal- 
lace. (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. 1948. Pp. 
ix, 349. $6.00.) 

No history of nineteenth-century Europe which fails to take 
into consideration the important role played by the Papacy can 
be said to have grasped the significance of that fateful era. The 
author of this volume, in reflecting upon the dearth of books in 
English on the effects of papal dipolmacy, suggests that the 
highly controversial nature of the issues, as between Catholics 
and Protestants, has rendered this task a most difficult one. She 
regards her own contribution, therefore, as a distinct service in- 
sofar as it is a "simple recounting of facts." 

The reviewer of such a book finds himself caught up into con- 
troversy in appraising not only the inevitable interpretation of 
facts as presented, but also the "weights'' which are assigned to 
the facts. By far and large, however, this volume presents a 
fair and penetrating insight into the outstanding problems of 
the Papacy in the nineteenth century. If issue may be taken with 
the "weighting" of certain facts, the reason can easily be found 
in the controversial elements which not even the most impartial 
historian can avoid. 

Following an introduction to the "Roman Question" and the 
attitude of Pope Pius IX towards Liberalism, the author pro- 
ceeds to divide her material into nine chapters, as follows: I. 
The Triple Alliance, II. The Vatican Council, III. The Definition 
of Infallibility, IV. The Occupation of Rome, V. After the Coun- 
cil, VI. The Kulturkampf, VII. The Kulturkampf and Interna- 
tional Affairs, VIII. Franco-Italian Relations, IX. The Last Days 
of Pius IX. A non-critical bibliography of primary sources and 
secondary works is added, with an index. 

The two basic issues involving the Church, in which Pius IX 
was the chief protagonist during the entire period under discus- 
sion, were the temporal power of the Pope, in the matter of the 
Papal States, and the infallibility of the Pope, on the spiritual 
side, in matters of faith and morals. The first question was re- 
solved in the breaching of the walls of Rome by the troops of 
Garibaldi ; the second was settled in the definition by the Vatican 
Council. It is of supreme importance to note that the fall of 
Rome and the loss of the Papal States by the head of the Church 

Book Reviews 275 

did not occur until the Vatican Council had determined upon 
the Pastor Aeternus, decree of personal infallibility of the Pope. 

The author of this volume observes that the suspension of the 
Council, rendered necessary by the seizure of Rome, "meant that 
the minority bishops would have no opportunity to reopen the 
question of Infallibility nor to modify it. Their fight was defi- 
nitely lost." Had the sequence of events been otherwise, however, 
it is probable that there would have been no Vatican Council. 
The prestige of the Papacy and indeed the solidarity of the Cath- 
olic Church today might have been much different. 

The discussion of the process by which Infallibility was finally 
defined and decreed appears to this reviewer to be definitely 
weighted by the author's personal view of the doctrine. A full 
review is given to the activities and statements of the bishops, 
including Kenrick of St. Louis, who were opposed to the issu- 
ance of the decree, either because they were not in preliminary 
accord or because they felt the moment inopportune. The active 
proponents of the decree, on the other hand, are represented as 
rather shadowy puppets of the Pope exercising a devious strategy 
which somehow never reaches the light of day. In particular, the 
Jesuits are repeatedly represented as exercising a nefarious in- 
fluence over the Pope. But documentation for this side is singu- 
larly lacking and unsatisfactory. 

An overweighting of French Catholic sentiment for the res- 
toration of the Temporal Power as a disturbing influence in the 
relations between France and Bismark may also be noted. Cer- 
tainly the determination of the latter to build a strong, united 
Germany and to secure and retain Alsace-Lorraine was an 
equal, if not far greater, factor in the struggle between the two 
countries, further complicated by the vacillating policies of 
Napoleon III. This same sentiment is represented as having 
boomeranged against the Church within France by the anti- 
clerical laws of the Republic. But the emergence of anti-religious 
intellectualism, already deeply rooted in the country, and the 
political ineptitude of Napoleon III must not be discounted in 
this process. 

Clericalism and "ultramontanism," which are frequently men- 
tioned, but without a clear-cut definition, are likewise named as 
principal reasons for the Kulturkampf. "The desire on the part 

276 The North Carolina Historical Review 

of the German Catholics to intervene on behalf of the Pope to 
regain his lost possessions and the refusal of the German govern- 
ment to do so," it is stated, "created the Center party, and it 
was against the Center party that the Kulturkampf was original- 
ly waged." On the other hand, it is alleged that with the disap- 
pearance of the danger of a monarchist restoration in France, 
and with it clericalism, "one of Bismark's chief reasons for per- 
sistence in the Kulturkampf was thus rapidly ceasing to exist." 
The courageous resistance of the German bishops and Catholic 
laity, as well as international distaste for the whole dismal busi- 
ness, must also be given due credit for the failure of a "culture 
war" which Hitler tried to revive and for much the same real 
reasons as Bismark entertained. 

With acute observation, the author asks "May not Pius IX, 
who certainly regarded himself as God's Vicar on earth, have 
been fighting against a force which would smother and stifle 
the spiritual independence of the Sovereign Pontiff?" The an- 
swer to that question, quite apart from the details of judgment 
exercised by the Pope in an era devoted to the worship of nation- 
alism and natural science, holds the key, not only to the nineteeth 
century but also to the twentieth. In the undertones of this 
thought, and not merely in the simple recounting, and sometimes 
bunching, of facts, this book does credit to the scholarship of the 
author and recommends this book to every student of the nine- 
teenth century. 

James A. Magner. 

The Catholic University of America, 
Washington, D. C. 


Back issues of The North Carolina Historical Review may be 
procured from the State Department of Archives and History at 
50 cents per copy or $2 per volume, by writing Mr. D. L. Corbitt, 
Division of Publications, Box 1881, Raleigh, N. C. A limited 
number of complete files of the publication is still available. 

Dr. John Tate Lanning of Duke University is on sabbatical 
leave to do research in the Spanish Archives. Dr. Lanning, who 
has completed the preliminary drafts on two books on the intel- 
lectual history of Spain in America, will give special attention to 
the Spanish Empire in America prior to the nineteenth century. 

Mr. Marvin R. Farley of Eatonton, Georgia, has become an 
instructor in history at Western Carolina Teachers College. Mr. 
Farley holds the master's degree for the University of North 

Mr. Irby C. Nichols, Jr., of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has be- 
come an instructor in history and political science at Catawba 
College. Mr. Nichols is filling the vacancy created by the resigna- 
tion of Mr. F. K. Howard who resigned to rejoin the United 
States Army. 

Mr. W. M. Brown has become a member of the staff of the 
Department of History, Elon College. Mr. Brown, formerly a 
member of the faculty of Washington and Lee University and 
the founder of Atlantic University, is filling the position left 
vacant by the resignation of Mr. C. W. Paskins. 

World History, a high school text book by Doctor W. E. Cald- 
well and Mr. E. H. Merrill of the University of North Carolina, 
has just been published by Benjamin H. Sanborn and Company. 
The price is $3.95. 

Dr. Joseph J. Mathews, professor of History at Emory Univer- 
sity, will be visiting professor at the University of North Caro- 
lina during the first session of summer school. 


278 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Dr. Loren C. MacKinney of the University of North Carolina 
is on leave of absence for the winter quarter. He is visiting pro- 
fessor of history at Stanford University. 

Mr. Horace W. Raper of the University of North Carolina has 
accepted a position as assistant professor of history at East Ken- 
tucky State Teachers College, Richmond, Kentucky. 

The following members of the History Department of the 
University of North Carolina attended the annual meeting of 
the American Historical Association held in Washington, D. C. 
in December : Professors H. A. Bierck, Jr., W. E. Caldwell, James 
L. Godfred, Cecil Johnson, J. E. King, H. T. Lefler, A. R. New- 
some, and C. H. Pegg. 

Dr. Christopher Crittenden, director of the State Department 
of Archives and History, attended the annual meeting of the 
American Historical Association held in Washington, D. C. in 

Dr. Lillian Parker Wallace of Meredith College appeared on 
the program of the American Historical Association held in 
Washington, D. C. in December. The subject of her paper was 
"The Whigs and the Liberal Pope, 1846-1850." 

Dr. Richard Bardolph, assistant professor of history at the 
Woman's College of the University of North Carolina, is writing 
a series of articles on the agricultural revolution in the Middle 
West and is using Illinois as a case study. These articles will ap- 
pear under the general title of "Illinois Agriculture in Transi- 
tion, 1820-1870." Two have already appeared in The Journal of 
the Illinois State Historical Society, XLI, nos 3 and 4 (September 
and December, 1948) . 

Mr. D. L. Corbitt of the State Department of Archives and 
History on February 19 talked to the Bloomsbury chapter of the 
Daughters of the Revolution on the early settlement and history 
of North Carolina. 

Historical News 279 

A memorial honoring James B. White was unveiled on Febru- 
ary 23 on the courthouse square at Whiteville. White was the 
co-founder of Columbus County and Whiteville was named in his 
honor. Miss Gertrude S. Carraway, a member of the Executive 
Board of the State Department of Archives and History and 
State Regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution, pre- 
sented the memorial which was accepted by Mr. Arthur W. Wil- 
liamson, chairman of the board of county commissioners, on be- 
half of the county. 

The late Richard R. Saunders of Reidsville wrote a history of 
the First Baptist Church of Reidsville entitled "Open Doors and 
Closed Windows," which has just been released. This book is 
illustrated with colored plates, photographs, and sketches, and 
contains 308 pages. It was printed by Seeman Printery, Inc., 
Durham, N. C. 

Dr. Percy Powell of the Manuscript Division of the Library of 
Congress was awarded the Lincoln Diploma of Honor for the 
year 1948 by the Lincoln Memorial University. Dr. Powell gradu- 
ated from the University of North Carolina and has been with 
the Library of Congress for many years. This diploma was 
awarded in recognition of work with the Robert Todd Lincoln 
Collection of the papers of Abraham Lincoln. 

Dr. Karl Bode, professor of English at the University of Mary- 
land, is writing a book entitled The American Lyceum: Town 
Meeting of the Mind. Dr. Bode's study will include the cultural 
history and literary aspects of the lecture system in the United 
States, 1830-1860. Any person having information concerning 
the existence in his locality of a lyceum should communicate with 
Dr. Bode. 

Dr. Harry Woodburn Chase of New York University has an- 
nounced the receipt of a grant of $35,000 from the Rockefeller 
Foundation for a study of problems dealing with the preserva- 
tion of business records. The project will be undertaken by the 
National Records Management Council. The grant, according to 
Dr. Cochran, president of the National Records Council, will be 

280 The North Carolina Historical Review 

used by the Council to provide more effective records manage- 
ment programs in business, to provide experienced counsel and 
training to that end, and to assist in the establishment of com- 
pany archives. The council and the business school administra- 
tion of New York University are offering new courses in records 
management and archives administration during the spring 
semester. The staff officers of the program recently appointed 
are: Dr. Emmett J. Leahy, executive director; Joseph P. Bren- 
nen, associate director; and Robert A. Shiff, records manage- 
ment consultant and assistant to the executive director. 

The North Carolina Society of County Historians, members of 
the Daughters of the American Revolution, and interested per- 
sons held a joint meeting at Moore's Creek Battle Grounds on 
February 27. It was the 173rd anniversary of the Moore's Creek 
Battle in which patriots of the lower Cape Fear Valley defeated 
the Scotish Highlanders. The whigs were under the command 
of General Alexander Lillington, for whom the county seat of 
Harnett County was named. Mr. Clifton L. Moore, Solicitor of 
the Eighth Judicial District, presided at the meeting. Dr. Chris- 
topher Crittenden, head of the State Department of Archives and 
History, delivered an address, as did Mr. Paul Green of the Uni- 
versity of North Carolina, Representative J. V. Whitfield of 
Pender County, Mr. Malcolm Fowler, president of the Society 
of County Historians, and Mr. George Patterson, an attorney of 
Burgaw. Miss Mattie Bloodworth, Pender County historian, was 
given high praise for her work in discovering and preserving the 
history of that county. 

Miss Laura S. Worth of Asheboro during the first week of 
March made a display in the courthouse of historical documents 
and manuscripts illustrating the history of Randolph County. 
Many school children with their teachers visited these displays 
and studied them in an effort to become more familiar with the 
history of their county. March 8 marked the 170 anniversary of 
the establishment of Randolph County. 

The North Carolina Daughters of the American Revolution 
held their State Convention in Asheville March 2. Miss Virginia 

Historical News 281 

Home of Wadesboro was elected state regent succeeding Miss 
Gertrude S. Carraway of New Bern. Mrs. George Moland of 
Hendersonville was elected vice-regent and Mrs. Ruth Allen 
Lyons of Wadesboro was elected corresponding secretary. Mr. 
Brandon Hodges, state treasurer, made the principal address. 


Mr. J. C. Harrington is regional archeologist, National Park 
Service, involving field work and research at various historic 
sites including Fort Raleigh and Jamestown. His address is 
United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 
Region One, Richmond, Virginia. 

Mr. Elisha P. Douglass is a graduate student in history at Yale 
University, New Haven, Connecticut. 

Mr. Dewey W. Grantham, Jr., is a Waddell Memorial Fellow 
in history at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N. C. 

Dr. Christopher Crittenden is director of the State Depart- 
ment of Archives and History, Raleigh, North Carolina. 

Dr. George W. Paschal is an emeritus professor of Greek at 
Wake Forest College, Wake Forest, North Carolina. 

Mr. George Myers Stephens is editor and publisher of The 
Southern Packet and owner of the Stephens Press, Asheville, 
North Carolina. 

Dr. Mary Callum Wiley is a retired teacher of English in the 
R. J. Reynolds High School. She writes a daily column for the 
Twin-City Sentinel of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. 

Dr. Alice M. Baldwin is the former dean of the Woman's Col- 
lege and professor of history at Duke University, Durham, North 

Dr. Douglas L. Rights is pastor of the Moravian Church, 
Winston-Salem, and president of the Wachovia Historical So- 
ciety, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. 

Miss Mary Lindsay Thornton is in charge of the North Caro- 
lina Collection at the University of North Carolina Library, 
Chapel Hill, North Carolina. 

The North Carolina 
Historical Review 

Volume XXVI JULY, 1949 Number 3 


By Madeleine R. Stern 

In Charleston, one autumn evening in the 1850's, a group of 
young men might have been seen walking along narrow King 
Street until they paused at No. 251, a large store with handsome 
plate-glass windows and a name in prominent gilt letters above 
the main door. 1 The young men had already earned enviable 
reputations in Southern society, and whatever careers they had 
embarked upon, they were all, in addition, of a literary turn. 
There was the handsome Basil Gildersleeve, who had received 
his doctor's degree from Gottingen and was about to enter upon 
a long and honorable life as professor of Greek at the University 
of Virginia; there was young Dr. John Dickson Burns, soon to 
teach physiology at the New Orleans School of Medicine; there 
was the vigorous young lawyer, Samuel Lord; and there were 
others, who, in the leisurely fashion of Charleston in the '50's, 
met at No. 251 King Street, to talk perhaps of shooting^ and 
riding, of racing and the Cecilia Society, to talk surely of life 
and letters and the Southern culture they were themselves creat- 

1 For the description of Russell's bookstore and the literary gatherings there, see Van 
Wyck Brooks, The Times of Melville and Whitman (New York, 1947), 71; Virginia P. Clare, 
Harp of the South (Oglethorpe University, Georgia, 1936), 51; Sidney J. Cohen, "Three 
Notable Ante-Bellum Magazines of South Carolina," Bulletin of the University of South 
Carolina, no. 42, part II (July, 1915), 38-39; "The Death of Mr. John Russell," Charleston 
Daily News, November 23, 1871 (courtesy Dorothy Smith, South Caroliniana Library, Univer- 
sity of South Carolina ) ; Charles Duffy, The Correspondence of Bayard Taylor and Paul 
Hamilton Hayne (Baton Rouge 1945), 4; Paul Hamilton Hayne, "Ante-Bellum Charleston," 
The Southern Bivouac, New Series, I, 6 (November 1885), 327 ff.; "The Late John Russell," 
The Charleston Daily Courier, November 23, 1871 (courtesy B. E. Powell and Mrs. Anne C. 
Orr, Duke University, and Kathleen Blow, University of Texas); Edgar Long, Russell's 
Magazine As An Expression of Ante-Bellum South Carolina Culture (doctoral dissertation 
in typescript, University of South Carolina, 1932), 42 ff.; Frank Luther Mott, A History 
of American Magazines, 1650-1865 (Cambridge, 1938), 488; Alfred T. Odell, "William Gil- 
more Simms in the Post-War Years," Bulletin of Furman University, vol. XXIX, no. 3 
(May, 1946), 73; La Salle C. Pickett, Literary Hearthstones of Dixie (Philadelphia and Lon- 
don, 1912), 82-83, 109, 141; The South in the Building of the Nation (Richmond, 1909), VII, 
453-454; Samuel G. Stoney, "The Memoirs of Frederick Augustus Porcher," The South 
Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, vol. XLIV, no. 2 (April, 1943), 65; Henry 
T. Thompson, Henry Timrod (Columbia, S. C, 1928), 26; William P. Trent, William Gilmore 
Simms (Boston and New York, 1892), 228-229. 


286 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The gilt letters above the door should have spelled the name 
of the "Globe" or the "Cocoa Tree," but though the store at No. 
251 was in reality the mecca of culture in a city that was itself 
the center of the cultural South, it was, after all, only a book- 
store, and the sign above the door spelled simply the name of the 
proprietor, John Russell. 

As the young men entered, they were greeted by Russell, a 
brisk, active, self-confident man in his early forties, eager to 
show them the latest Elzevier or black-letter work imported from 
abroad, hospitably beckoning them past the counters and heavily 
laden shelves to his sanctum in the rear of the store. There the 
young men would see their elders gathered on chairs and sofas 
about a large comfortable stove, and there they would find a 
salon that rivaled the famous breakfasts of Poinsett or the 
equally famous suppers of William Gilmore Simms. Simms him- 
self was, by the divine right of poetry, king among those who 
flocked to Russell's bookstore, and his tall, vigorous form domin- 
ated the scene as he played Dr. Johnson to a group of ardent ver- 
sifying Boswells that included Paul Hamilton Hayne and Henry 
Timrod. In another corner one might see James Petigru, the 
social lion whose magnificent voice and dark eyes had helped 
make him the Nestor of the Charleston bar. The gray-headed 
guileless planter, William J. Grayson, was ready to discourse 
upon the South's "peculiar institution," slavery, while the beetle- 
browed Mitchell King buttonholed Russell to repeat in his Scot- 
tish brogue long passages from the Latin poets, and that man of 
fire and air, James W. Miles, dilated upon philosophy. Among 
them all, the host of No. 251 moved, accepting a pinch of snuff 
from Father Lynch, discussing a new botanical work with Dr. 
Porcher, fetching a medical tome for Dr. Dickson. 

Here, in the rear room of a Charleston bookstore, seated at a 
fire or standing up for rhetorical effectiveness, were gathered 
the brightest lights in the Southern constellations. Had John 
Russell achieved nothing else in his life beyond drawing them 
together, he would have merited a claim to fame. Actually, he 
did considerably more than that for his patrons, and hence for 
Southern letters. 

Who was the man who attracted the illuminati of the South, 
whose bookshop was their favorite rendezvous in the leisurely 



OtohiUpc «( xm, tmkm, M mthl 

TCI f% #"^ -TC2T €2£ t 


Russell & Jones, 

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Ek.mairk's t Vdloetion of flu* Latin Classics, with the ancient and 
motif ni Commentaries and Indexes. 1 14 vols., Hvo. t full 
calf. Fmf ropy, ............ ; ............. . v."* 25 ? 00 

Oram's ffisxoav of Enolanw— Beyer*s Magnificent Edition, illus- 
trated with numerous fine Engravings, Original subscri- 
ber^ copy. 10 vols., folio, full morocm-gilt '.. ..... .$150 00 

This sumptuous specimen of English typography was published 

at TO go trusts. 

Ga^erte do Florence, et dn Palais Pitts, I vein., rpyul j otto, half 
«wr„ containing 400 Engraving's ai' Pictures, Statues, Bas- 
reliefs, and Gems. A choice copy of the best Edition. $135 00 

Gai.krik Irnperiale an Belvedere a Vienne grav6c par les plus 
habiles Artistes, uvec tin texte expltcatif et. critique, 4 .vols*, 
•lto.» half mo?., containing 210 Line Engravings, beautiful 
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GAi.miijK de thisselldorff, containing 805 Pictures, engraved on 
*M) shoe.ts, r'ohlong folio,} hv Heche!, Bound hi half mo- 
form. .............,.,.*.'.,,. ,,,.,.,*.... .$25 00 

Gallery of tih-; I>ckk of EnrcuTENiiKKO— ~A collection of 282 
Etching^:, front tit*- celebrated Paintings in this Gallery, by 
MuxeJ, with Explanatory Text and Biographical Notices of 
the Painters, by Passavant, Hulf hound mor. . . • . .$15 00 

Galerie ^uoistiiL— -Uecnetl d'Estampes, (180; gravies d'apres 
les tableaux du Cabinet de M. de Choiseitl par les so ins do 
Bhnhii. Paris, IT71. 4to. .815 00 

Galerie 1'ovi.laix— A collection of 120 Engravings, after Pic- 
tures In the Callerv Potillain. 4to .815 00 


John Russell: "Lord John" of Charleston 287 

antebellum days of Charleston, who displayed to them his latest 
shipment from abroad during the golden afternoons and glorious 
evenings of the '50's? John Russell has suffered the paradoxical 
fate of being remembered as a famous man about whom little 
else is known. The Southerner recalls his celebrated bookstore, the 
Northerner may associate him with Russell's Magazine, but with 
these points, memory fails. In reality, Southern literature owes 
an important debt to John Russell, for he not only provided the 
literati of his time with books but supplied them with organs for 
self-expression by publishing their own books. He was a book- 
seller and publisher whose influence was felt throughout the 
literary South, and as such he deserves a more substantial 
memorial than he has received. 

John Russell 2 was born in Charleston in 1812, just before war 
with England was declared, and though he was not to die until 
1871, another, more dreadful war was to mark the finis to his 
career. After the death of his father, his mother appears to have 
remarried, taking the name of Rachel Jones. Two sons born of 
that second marriage were to be associated with Russell in the 
book business, and a daughter of that second marriage was to 
become Russell's sole heir at his death. In other words, the 
hospitality and generosity that the bookseller extended to his 
patrons were also bestowed upon his half-brothers and half-sister. 
According to Paul Hamilton Hayne, Russell was "educated in 
the book-trade" and "had mastered, at a comparatively early 
age, its requisitions and technicalities." 3 It was in the bookstore 
of John P. Beile, the predecessor of Samuel Hart of Charleston, 
that Russell learned the rudiments of the trade. Through the 
Charleston Directory his career may be followed as he rose "from 
grade to grade in the service." In the Directory for 1835-36, when 
Russell was in his early twenties, he was located at 172 King 
Street as an accountant. At the same address appeared the mili- 

2 "The Death of Mr. John Russell," Charleston Daily News (November 23, 1871) states 
that Russell was born in 1813. His death certificate, however, records that he died on Novem- 
ber 21, 1871, at the age of 59 years and 8 months, thus placing his birth in March, 1812. 
For other biographical details about Russell, see The Charleston Directory, 1835-1836; Charles- 
ton Directory and Strangers' Guide, 1840 and 1841 (courtesy Dorothy Smith, South Caro- 
liniana Library, University of South Carolina); Hayne, "Ante-Bellum Charleston," The 
Southern Bivouac (November, 1885), 327 ff.; Long, Russell's Magazine As An Expression of 
Ante-Bellum South Carolina Culture, 43 ff.; information from A. S. Salley, Columbia, S. C; 
William Gilmore Simms to Hon. R. T. Conrad, Charleston, October 19, 1847, and William 
Gilmore Simms to E. A. Duyckinck, Charleston, September 3, 1849, Miscellaneous Collection, 
Manuscript Division, New York Public Library. 

3 Hayne, "Ante-Bellum Charleston," The Southern Bivouac (November, 1885), 327. 

288 The North Carolina Historical Review 

tary and fancy store of John S. Bird, where Russell doubtless 
became acquainted not only with a general assortment of spec- 
tacles but with Bird's fine French looking glass plates and his 
engravings and paintings direct from Paris. His familiarity with 
art objects probably proved useful when he joined Jacob K. Sass 
to form the firm of Russell and Sass, auctioneers and commercial 
merchants, for it is under that heading that he is listed in the 
Directory of 1840 and 1841. When, at length, Russell acquired 
the necessary capital, he opened his own "literary emporium." 
Though he never diverged from King Street, he did move at 
least three times, appearing in 1848 at No. 256, moving later to 
No. 251, and still later to No. 285. He strayed farther, however, 
in his travels. As early as 1847 he was in Philadelphia on a 
business trip, two years later he traveled to New York bearing 
a letter of introduction from William Gilmore Simms to 
E. A. Duyckinck, and at least once he journeyed to Europe, for 
on the Channel packet he was mistaken for Lord John Russell, 
and the sobriquet, "Lord John," clung to him for the remainder 
of his life. In 1859 he seems to have planned an extended absence 
from the country, but perhaps the growing antislavery excite- 
ment dissuaded him from the project. The Civil War itself was 
not only to change his plans, but was to have a most disastrous 
effect upon his business as well. 

Before that time, however, Russell had developed business 
methods that were to provide him with a notable reputation. He 
was a man of bright, quick mind, in whom native shrewdness 
joined with a kind heart and generosity. 4 The information he 
had acquired made him a clever and witty conversationalist, 
suited to be "Lord John" of the Charleston literati. Enterprising, 
intelligent, popular, he could preside easily over the illustrious 
group that met in the rear of his store. What is more, his knowl- 
edge of books made him one of the most successful booksellers 
of the South, until Augustus Flagg of Little, Brown could state 
that he sold more fine books in proportion to the population than 
almost any other, 5 and Trubner of London declared him one of 

4 For Russell's personal characteristics, see Hayne, "Ante-Bellum Charleston," 330, 335; 
Paul H. Hayne, ed., The Poems of Henry Timrod (New York, 1873), 23; Long, Russell's 
Magazine, 43-44; Mott, History of American Magazines, 1850-1865, 488; A. S. Salley, Jr., 
"Southern Magazines," The (Charleston) Sunday News, August 27, 1899 (courtesy John 
Cook Wyllie, University of Virginia). 

5 J. C. Derby, Fifty Years Among Authors, Books and Publishers (New York, 1884), 674. 

John Russell: "Lord John" of Charleston 289 

the most accomplished bibliopoles in the United States. 6 Perhaps 
more telling than any other token to his reputation is that letter 
of introduction that Russell carried in September, 1849, from 
Simms to Duyckinck, a letter bringing its recipient "to a per- 
sonal knowledge of my friend, Mr. John Russell, of this city, 
whom you perhaps already know as a bookseller of great worth 
and intelligence." 7 Simms was to write again to Duyckinck, 
describing Russell as "a very worthy gentleman and a first rate 
Bookseller," "a worthy and intelligent person upon whom you can 
rely." 8 Simms spoke authoritatively, for Russell was not only his 
friend, but his bookseller and his publisher. 

As a bookseller, Russell had earned his reputation. His store 
was not merely a rendezvous for his illustrious patrons, but a 
post office as well. The poet Simms, in writing to Northern 
bookmen, wished to be addressed in care of Russell, and other 
facilities were also provided for customers. 9 At a table in the 
back of the store the literary folk of Charleston were welcome to 
sit and examine new books, while careful young men were given 
the privilege of taking home a new book over-night to look it 
over and decide if they wished to keep it. But perhaps, in addi- 
tion to such bookstore delights, the greatest advantage of trading 
with Russell arose from the wide range and variety of his stock. 
From a single extant catalogue 10 and from his newspaper ad- 
vertisements, 11 the latter-day scholar may return the lost books 
to the shelves, brush off the dust of a century, and walk again 
through the King Street emporium. 

Basil Gildersleeve probably found the most interesting section 
of Russell's bookstore that devoted to the classics, and even 
within that category the range was great. Lemaire's Collection 
of the Latin Classics, consisting of 144 calf -bound volumes, might 
be his for $250, while Bodoni's edition of the Iliad, in three royal 

8 "The Death of Mr. John Russell," Charleston Daily News, November 23, 1871. 

7 Simms to Duyckinck, Charleston, September 3, 1849, Miscellaneous Collection, Manuscript 
Division, New York Public Library. 

8 Simms to Duyckinck, Charleston, September 27, 1849, and Woodlands, February 25, 
n.y. Miscellaneous Collection, Manuscript Division, New York Public Library. 

9 For these facilities, see Simms to Conrad, Charleston, October 19, 1847, Miscellaneous 
Collection, Manuscript Division, New York Public Library; information from Ellen M. 
Fitzsimons, Charleston Library Society, and A. S. Salley. 

10 Part First Of A Catalogue of rare, curious, and useful Books! For Sale By Russell & 
Jones, No. 251 King Street, University of Chicago, (courtesy B. E. Powell, Duke University 
Library) . 

11 See Russell's advertisements in The Charleston Mercury May 3, 1855-September 5, 1855, 
May 12, 1857, December 8-29, 1860, April 17, 1861-June 14, 1862 (courtesy Oscar Wegelin, 
New York Historical Society). 

290 The North Carolina Historical Review 

folio volumes, was offered for $50, and the first volume of 
Rawlinson's History of Herodotus sold for only $2.50. 

For young Dr. Burns, or Dr. Porcher, or any other of the 
medicos who strolled through the King Street emporium, there 
was a fine selection of medical works, from Carpenter on The 
Microscope to Rokitansky's Manual of Pathological Anatomy, 
from Guthrie's Surgical Commentaries to Tomes's Dental Surgery. 
Those of a turn for pure science might consider Hugh Miller's 
Sketch Book of Popular Geology cheap at $1.50, or Loomis's 
Recent Progress of Astronomy a most enlightening acquisition. 

There was a happy hunting ground for Father Lynch and his 
colleagues in other denominations in Russell's excellent assort- 
ment of theological works, for the firm acted as agents for the 
Protestant Episcopal Church Book Society and the Evangelical 
Knowledge Society, carrying a full stock of all their publications. 
In addition, Russell received from London a wide variety of 
foreign theological works, from the Liturgies of Queen Elizabeth 
to Maimbourg's History of Arianism. Strickland's History of the 
American Bible Society, Baird's Religion in America, catechisms, 
psalms, hymns, and sermons gave Russell's theological section 
the air of a complete Bibliotheca Biblica for all patrons of a 
clerical turn. James W. Miles and those who like him indulged 
in metaphysical speculation would find more to their interest in 
the shelves devoted to philosophy, from which Blakey's History 
of the Philosophy of the Mind could be taken down for $9 or Sir 
William Hamilton's Lectures on Metaphysics for $3. 

As grandson of the famous historian, young David Ramsay 
might have found much to interest him in Russell's historical 
selections, where the original subscriber's copy of Hume's History 
of England at $150 vied with Brougham's Historical Sketches of 
Statesmen under George III and Gurowski's Russia As It Is. For 
only $1 he might own a Life of Peter the Great, for $1.25 Gret- 
ton's Vicissitudes of Italy Since the Congress of Vienna, and for 
$2 White's History of France. 

Young Ramsay did not know, when he visited Russell's, that he 
was destined to lose his life at Fort Wagner, but perhaps he was 
attracted none the less by the growing collection of military 
works which in the early '60's found their way to the bookstore 
— manuals for volunteers, instructions for field artillery, Mahan's 

John Russell: "Lord John" of Charleston 291 

Treatise on Field Fortification, books on rifle practice, outpost 
duties, and cavalry tactics. 

Young scholars returned from Gottingen might have enjoyed 
Russell's display of travel books in which they might browse, 
transported by Richard H. Dana to Cuba, by Kane to the Arctic, 
by others to the mysteries of Fiji. 

Charles Fraser, the celebrated miniaturist, doubtless headed 
directly for the fine collection of art books that included a bril- 
liantly illustrated four-volume Galerie de Florence for $125, and 
a select variety of other Galleries, from that of the Pictures at 
Grosvenor House to the finely engraved Galerie de Dusselldorff. 
Appleton's Cyclopaedia of Drawing and Mrs. Ellett on Women 
Artists in All Ages probably pleased him also, giving him food 
for interesting talk of art with the proprietor, who as early as 
1849 had taken in charge Mr. Fraser's own exquisite paintings, 
which Russell wished to place in the gallery of the Art Union. 12 
It was not without reason that the King Street dealer advertised 
his firm as importers of books, stationery, and works of art. 

Of all the books, however, that were offered by Russell, prob- 
ably the most popular were his literary works. Hayne and Simms 
and Timrod, with all the Southern brotherhood of poets, must 
have found their keenest pleasure in turning the pages of 
Tennyson's latest verses or Duyckinck's Encyclopedia of 
American Literature, in browsing through Sir William Temple's 
Works or seeing proudly displayed on the shelves the tales and 
poems of William Gilmore Simms himself. 

In selling books Russell believed in a varied stock. For the 
numismatic addict he could provide Humphrey's Manual for Coin 
Collectors; for the children there was a delightful array of 
juveniles among which Granny's Wonderful Chair vied with 
Pussy's Road to Ruin. For the Southern ladies who delighted in 
novels there was no dearth of stories by Charles Reade or 
"Marion Harland." For readers who wanted the latest in periodi- 
cals there was Harper's or Blackwood's or the English Quarterly 

Even in selling books, however, Russell never forgot that he 
himself was a Southerner and that, in the wide range of works 

12 William Gilmore Simms to E. A. Duyckinck, Charleston, September 3, 1849, Miscellaneous 
Collection, Manuscript Division, New York Public Library. 

292 The North Carolina Historical Review 

he offered, Southern books would always be given a place of dis- 
tinction. W. J. Rivers' Sketch of the History of South Carolina, 
The Old Plantation by James Hungerford of Maryland, 
Gardening for the South found their proud place, therefore, 
among John Russell's varied wares. 

Selling Southern books was one way of encouraging Southern 
letters, but providing an organ for the expression of Southern 
thought was perhaps a more effective way. Out of the petits 
soupers at which Simms presided, and out of the enthusiastic 
meetings in the rear of Russell's bookstore there emerged finally 
the suggestion for launching a magazine that would defend 
Southern institutions and reflect Southern sentiment. 13 Paul 
Hamilton Hayne and W. B. Carlisle, the Charleston journalist, 
were ready to serve as editors, and Russell, approached with the 
idea, eagerly agreed to act as publisher, taking on the business 
management of the new scheme. On January 1, 1857 — the same 
year that saw the launching of the Atlantic Monthly — an an- 
nouncement appeared in the Charleston Daily Courier regarding 
the new venture, which was to be dubbed Russell's Magazine. 
"We hope to make it a faithful representative Organ of Southern 
Genius, Taste and Opinions in every branch of Literature, Art, 
and General Politics. . . . 

"In regard to its form, we shall i&ake Blackwood's Magazine 
the model of our own, . . . 

"Having adopted a system of liberal remuneration, we can en- 
sue the services of the ablest writers." 

The price would be $3 a year, and single numbers would be 
furnished and subscriptions received by agents throughout the 
Southern states. 

18 For details about Russell's Magazine, see Cohen, Three Notable Ante-Bellum Magazines of 
South Carolina, passim; Information from Georgia H. Faison, University of North Carolina; 
Irving Garwood, American Periodicals From 1850 To 1860 (Macomb, Illinois, 1931), 72; 
William S. Hoole, A Check-List and Finding-List of Charleston Periodicals 1732-1864 (Dur- 
ham, N. C, 1936), 5, 63-64; Jay B. Hubbell, The Last Years of Henry Timrod, 1864-1867 
(Durham, N. C, 1941), 4; Fronde Kennedy, "Russell's Magazine," The South Atlantic 
Quarterly, vol. XVIII, no. 2 (April 1919), 125-144; Long, Russell's Magazine, passim; Daniel 
M. McKeithan, A Collection of Hayne Letters (Austin, Texas, 1944), passim; Frank McLean, 
Periodicals Published in the South Before the Civil War, University of Virginia dissertation 
1928 (courtesy Jack Dalton, University of Virginia); Mott, A History of American Maga- 
zines 1850-1865, 488 ff.; Russell's Magazine I, 1 — VI, 6 (April, 1857 — March, I860), 
annotated copy in New York Public Library; "Russell's Magazine," The Charleston Daily 
Courier, January 1, 1857, 2 (courtesy B. E. Powell, Duke University, and Kathleen Blow, 
University of Texas); The South in the Building of the Nation, VII, 453; The Southern 
Literary Messenger (October 1856), 306 and (May 1857), 392; George A. Wauchope, The 
Writers of South Carolina (Columbia, S. C, 1910), 15. 

John Russell: "Lord John" of Charleston 293 

The magazine fulfilled its promise, though its career was des- 
tined to be short. In April, 1857, backed by a joint stock concern 
organized by Russell, the first number appeared, a neat thin 
octavo by, for, and of the South. The issue was introduced by 
an attack on antislavery doctrines by William J. Grayson and 
included the first part of J. E. Cooked "Estcourt," a poem by 
Timrod, and Hayne's review of Poe's "Arthur Gordon Pym." 
Throughout its three years of existence Russell's Magazine served 
as a "depository for Southern genius, and a new incentive, . . . 
for its active exercise." "Believing that an organ of Southern 
genius and opinion was imperatively demanded, ... we have 
undertaken to supply this great want." 14 In publishing the best 
of Timrod's earlier poems and essays, the works of Samuel Henry 
Dickson, King, and Simms, the magazine became an excellent 
organ of expression for the habitues of Russell's bookstore and 
hence for the literati of the South. 

Russell's part in the enterprise was more than that of pub- 
lisher. With the second number, after Carlisle had proved a dis- 
appointment to the staff, Russell became connected with the 
editorial management also, and at least one letter from the 
proprietor of the bookstore to a contributor survives, expressing 
his appreciation and acceptance of a review of Aurora Leigh. 15 
The publisher's keen interest in the enterprise is indicated by the 
fact that he kept an annotated copy of the issues in bound 
volumes on his desk, in which he recorded the names of authors 
over their articles, and that very set, having survived the Civil 
War, at length found its way to the New York Public Library, 
where it serves as a reminder of John Russell's close connection 
with the magazine that bore his name. 

In October, 1859, Russell, planning a protracted absence from 
the country, offered the periodical for sale, 16 but there seems to 
have been no purchaser for what was described as "a highly 
profitable investment in the hands of a person of energy and 
talent." In the last number of March, 1860, the publisher yielded 
"to the necessity which constrains us to discontinue . . . publi- 
cation." He had provided the South with an important vehicle 

M Russell's Magazine I, 1 (April, 1857), 82, and I, 2 (May, 1857), 178. 

15 John Russell to Miss Dickson, May 4, n. y. (Duke University, courtesy B. E. Powell). 
18 Slip dated October 1, 1859, and sent out with the October, 1859, issue of Russell's Maga- 
zine (courtesy A. S. Salley, Columbia, S. C). 

294 The North Carolina Historical Review 

for self-expression and posterity with a notable record of sec- 
tional thought. But though his scheme was short-lived, there 
were other means, John Russell knew from experience, for sup- 
plying Southern literati with an audience. 

Though Russell's connection with the magazine is still remem- 
bered, there are few who recall that in his day he was also a 
book publisher of no small influence. The South had need of such 
a publisher. In 1858 Russell's Magazine itself expressed that need. 
"The papers have recently been filled with articles in reference 
to Southern Publishing Houses; and much regret has been ex- 
pressed that the expenses of book-printing at the South should 
be so great, as to deter an author from patronizing the publishers 
in his own section." 17 The events of every week indicated to 
Southern writers the need for the South "to declare, and to at- 
tempt to establish, her literary independence." As early as 1852, 
Walker, Richards of Charleston had tried to establish a large 
Southern publishing house for the encouragement of Southern 
authors and the dissemination of Southern books, but the plan 
had not materialized. By the time the Civil War began, the diffi- 
culty of importing Northern and European publications into the 
Confederate states, coupled with the increased demand for read- 
ing matter, heightened the need for a substantial Southern 
publisher. The ideas that characterized Southern society needed 
not only the exposition of a new literature, but the underwriting 
of a Southern publisher. 

It cannot be said that John Russell supplied that great need. 
By branching out into publishing he did, however, serve the 
South, issuing — in a spasmodic fashion to be sure — the works of 
some of its most illustrious citizens. Every book bearing his 
imprint was, like his magazine, by, for, and of the South. The 
names of his authors read like a roll-call of those who frequented 
the literary sessions in the rear of his store, and since they were 
also the names of the most eminent among Southern literati, 
Russell's service in publishing their works is far from negligible. 
Between 1846 and 1855 he lent his name to a series of books in 

17 Russell's Magazine, vol. II, no. 6 (March, 1858), 566. For other details on the status 
of Southern publishing, see Russell's Magazine, vol. IV, no. 4 (January, 1859), 370 and 
vol. V, no. 5 (August, 1859), 395; Yates Snowden, Confederate Books, no. t. p., unpaged; 
"Southern Publications," De Bow's Review, New Series, vol. I, no. 2 (August, 1852), 211. 

John Russell: "Lord John" of Charleston 295 

neat format and dignified typography, all of which echoed the 
varied voices of the South. 18 

The first book undertaken by Russell was, characteristically, 
William Gilmore Simms' Areytos: or, Songs of the South, a 
duodecimo that appeared in 1846, and which was followed two 
years later by Simms's Cassique of Accabee and his Lays of the 
Palmetto, and by the publication in 1853 of Simms's two-volume 
Poems Descriptive, Dramatic, Legendary and Contemplative. 
Poetry seems to have been a favorite literary form with Russell, 
for he also sent forth a curious work by Catharine Poyas entitled 
Huguenot Daughters and Other Poems, as well as The Hireling 
and Slave, a versified apology for slavery by William J. Grayson. 
For one of his loyal patrons, James W. Miles, Russell published 
a number of discourses and orations, as well as his important 
work, Philosophic Theology; or, Ultimate Grounds of All 
Religious Belief Based in Reason. When Russell's friend, Louisa 
C. McCord of South Carolina, translated Bastiat's Sophisms of 
the Protective Policy, Russell was ready to join his name with 
that of George P. Putnam of New York in sponsoring the under- 
taking. When W. H. Trescot of Charleston desired a publisher 
for his Thoughts on American Foreign Policy, when Miles or 
Porcher eulogized Calhoun after his death in 1850, they turned 
to Russell to handle publication. Russell himself was particularly 
interested in seeing through the press books of a local or sec- 
tional quality, publishing Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, Charles 
Fraser's Reminiscences of Charleston, House and Home; or, The 
Carolina Housewife By a lady of Charleston, and, replete with 
finely engraved colored plates, Holbrook's Ichthyology of South 
Carolina. For local societies he proved a willing publisher, lend- 
ing his name to Samuel Henry Dickson's Speech at the Dinner of 
the New England Society of Charleston, or to Miles's oration 
before the literary societies of the South Carolina College. 

18 For the books published by Russell and by Russell and Jones, see, in addition to the 
imprints of the books themselves, The American Catalogue — 1866-1871; Charles N. Baxter and 
James M. Dearborn, Confederate Literature (Boston, 1917), 106; Catalogue of the Salley 
Collection of the Works of William Gilmore Simms (Columbia, S. C, 1943), passim; William 
A. Courtenay, A Catalogue of the Portraits, Books, . . . Presented to the Charleston Library 
Society (Columbia, S. C, 1908), passim; James G. Johnson, Southern Fiction Prior to 1860, 
University of Virginia, 1909, 82; Roorbach, Bibliotheca Americana 1820-1852, 1852-1855; 
James F. Shearer, "French and Spanish Works Printed in Charleston, South Carolina," 
The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, XXXIV (1940), 169; information from 
Robert J. Turnbull, Yemassee, S, C; Oscar Wegelin, A List of the Separate Writings of 
William Gilmore Simms Of South Carolina 1806-1870 ( Hattiesburg, 1941), passim. 

296 The North Carolina Historical Review 

By 1857, the year which saw the launching of Russell's 
Magazine, there had been a change in the firm name and in the 
imprints of Russell's publications. James C. Jones, Russell's half- 
brother, who had worked as a clerk in the bookstore, apparently 
had become a partner, and the firm's name was changed to 
Russell and Jones. It is possible, too, that another half-brother, 
Edward C. Jones, the Charleston architect, also entered the firm 
at this period, perhaps to supervise its fine arts department. 19 
At any rate, it was the name of Russell and Jones that appeared 
as publishers of Russell's Magazine, and, between 1857 and 1860, 
of other Southern publications, all of which followed the trends 
established by Russell earlier in his career. Grayson's poem, The 
Country, took the place of The Hireling and Slave; The South 
Carolina Jockey Club whetted local interest, as did Simms's 
History of South Carolina, while the new firm sponsored the 
publications of such local organizations as the Elliott Society of 
Natural History of Charleston, of which John Russell was a 
member. 20 

One work, published in 1857 by Russell and Jones, typifies the 
firm's desire to serve as what might be called publishers indige- 
nous to the South. Pleiocene Fossils of South-Carolina by Tuomey 
and Holmes had previously appeared without plates, but at the 
"urgent solicitation" of Agassiz, Bache, and Gould, it was pub- 
lished now as a folio with 29 plates. Its artistic merits would 
"challenge the severest criticism." What is more, the work was 
offered to the public as "a good specimen of what can be done by 
our artists at home." 21 The drawings on stone were executed at 
the College of Charleston by C. G. Platen; the letter press was, 
in part, the work of Halper and Calvo and James and Williams, 
native Charleston printers. Since there was no press for printing 
the plates in Charleston, that work had to be done elsewhere, but 
otherwise the volume, for 200 copies of which the legislature 
subscribed, was indeed an excellent example of Southern work- 
manship as well as of the publishing ideals and purposes of 
John Russell. 

10 For details about the Jones brothers, see Beatrice St. J. Ravenel, Architects of Charleston 
(Charleston, 1945), 215, 296 n. 49. 

20 Proceedings of the Elliott Society of Natural History of Charleston, S. C, I, 4. 

21 M. Tuomey and F. S. Holmes, Pleiocene Fossils of South-Carolina (Charleston: Russell 
and Jones, 1857), preface. 

John Russell : "Lord John" of Charleston 297 

By 1860, the last date when a Russell and Jones imprint ap- 
peared, the firm's stock of goods was valued at $20,000, 22 Russell 
and Jones could afford to turn some of their profits from book- 
selling into book publishing, could undertake more or less unre- 
munerative enterprises, and could give to the South such finely 
illustrated works as Holmes' Post-Pleiocene Fossils of South- 
Carolina. Their relations with Northern publishers had been 
established on a firm foundation, and they appear to have 
served as agents for the publications of Redfield, Appleton, and 
Harper in New York, and Bentley in London. Perhaps in time 
Russell and Jones might indeed have developed into that great 
Southern publishing house of which the region felt so sore a 
need. Fort Sumter, however, was soon to signify more than a 
name, and the year 1860 was to make way for the more eventful 
year of 1861. The guns were to be fired over Charleston, pre- 
saging ruin to the "Globe," the "Cocoa Tree" of King Street, and 
the time had come to talk of other things than books. 

Just before the outbreak of the war, Russell suffered a personal 
loss in the death, by drowning, of his half-brother, James C. 
Jones. 23 Not long after, in December, 1861, his mother died. 24 No 
more books bearing the imprint of Russell and Jones would 
appear, and only a very few works remained to be published by 
John Russell. Those few would attest, however, his determina- 
tion to carry on in the face of the havoc that surrounded him. 

In order to save his stock from the effects of bombardment, 
Russell, like so many of the book dealers of more recent times, 
stored his wares beyond the reach of shot and shell. 25 But 
Camden, the town he selected, was to prove a poor choice, for 
it lay in the line of Sherman's march. Russell himself, besides 
serving as the adjutant of a battalion of reserves, 26 found the 
time and courage to publish what proved to be "the most elegant 
book, as to paper, printing and binding, which appeared in the 
South during the war." 27 The Life and Times of Bertrand Du 
Guesclin: A History of the Fourteenth Century by D. F. Jamison 

22 List of the Tax Payers of the City of Charleston for 1860 (Charleston, 1861), 247. 

23 James C. Jones died on March 17, 1861. Jones's death record, courtesy Beatrice St. J. 
Ravenel, Charleston. 

2i Information from A. M. Gayer, Superintendent, Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston. 

25 "The Late John Russell," Charleston Daily Courier, November 23, 1871. 

28 "The Death of Mr. John Russell," Charleston Daily News, November 23, 1871. According 
to F. M. Hutson, chief clerk, Historical Commission of South Carolina, however, the index 
to Confederate rolls does not list a John Russell as adjutant. 

27 Snowden, Confederate Books, unpaged. 

298 The North Carolina Historical Review 

of South Carolina was a far cry from the history of the nine- 
teenth century in Charleston, but in that city it was published in 
1864, a two-volume set with a frontispiece portrait of Sir 
Bertrand, dedicated by the author to William Gilmore Simms — 
a work that bore testimony to what a publisher could accom- 
plish in the face of the most extreme difficulty. 

Charleston, the proudest city of the South, had been bom- 
barded and fired. By the time the war was over, it was a place 
of vacant houses, rotting wharves, and lifeless, grass-grown 
streets, where yawning walls and shattered windows were re- 
minders of the disaster that had befallen it. John Russell, re- 
turning to Camden to claim his stock, was confronted by a sorry 
and disheartening sight. Sherman's soldiers had recklessly 
broken open the cases, scattering or destroying the contents, and 
when the remnants were gathered there was little left of his once 
valuable wares. With that meager stock John Russell set up 
business again, at No. 285 King Street, but the days of the 
"Globe" and "Cocoa Tree" were over. The proprietor himself 
had but five more years to live, surrounded by shadows of his 
former greatness. At least twice he undertook book publication, 
in 1867 issuing Ephraim Seabrook's Ariel Refuted. A Complete 
Exposure. Of A Pamphlet Entitled "The Negro" and in 1870 
sending forth William Trescot's Memorial of the Life of J. John- 
ston Pettigrew, Brig. Gen. of the Confederate States Army. To the 
end Russell remained faithful to his desire to give expression to 
the voice of the South. But that voice was, by 1871, all but stilled. 

Few were left to recall those brilliant sessions that had taken 
place in the rear of another bookstore on King Street during the 
proud mid-century. Paul Hamilton Hayne remembered, however, 
and during a journey from New York to "Copse Hill," he passed 
through Charleston, visiting John Russell. The superb collection 
of beautifully bound books had disappeared, and in their place 
stood empty shelves. The proprietor had grown old, although he 
was not yet sixty. The brisk, active, confident "Lord John" had 
vanished. With a melancholy greeting, Russell welcomed Hayne, 
waving his hand around the store and by that gesture conveying 
a sense of the desolation that surrounded him. It was a place of 
ghosts, ghosts of people and ideas as well as of books. 

John Russell: "Lord John" of Charleston 299 

Before his death, part of the remnants of Russell's stock was 
sold at a sacrifice. 28 On November 21, 1871, the proprietor died 
of heart disease, leaving his estate to his half-sister, Eliza 
Catherine Jones. 29 The stock, once assessed at $20,000, was 
valued after his death at $2,500. 30 There were intangibles, how- 
ever, disregarded by the "Inventory of Goods and Chattels of 
John Russell, Deceased." There is no mention in that document 
of his attempt to provide an organ for Southern thought by 
selling and publishing Southern books and by giving to the 
literati of the South a meeting-place and a springboard for self- 
expression. Yet much of the literary work produced in the South 
in antebellum days owes a debt to John Russell, the bookseller- 
publisher who played his significant role behind the scenes. He 
left a more substantial estate than he realized, for he bequeathed 
a heritage to history. 

28 Long, Russell's Magazine, 65. 

29 Copy of Russell's death certificate and abstract of Russell's Will, courtesy Ellen M. 
Fitzsimons, Charleston Library Society. 

30 Inventory of Goods and Chattels of John Russell, Deceased, in Office of Judge of Probate, 

By Eddie W. Wilson 

According to archeologists and ethnologists, gourds were of 
economic importance to the earliest peoples of the South. 1 Then, 
immediately after the coming of the white man to this area, 
artist, historian, traveler, and diarist began to include the gourd 
in their delightful descriptions of this new land and its inhabi- 
tants. Finally, mention of the gourd has persisted throughout 
the years and today it is frequently found in Southern prose and 

From numerous archeological sites have come fragments of 
gourds, gourd vessels, and gourd-shaped ceramics. Among those 
who have made such discoveries or have written concerning them 
are N. C. Nelson, who found gourd-cups and bits of gourd shells 
in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, in an age-level devoid of evidence 
of maize culture 2 ; W. S. Webb and W. D. Funkhouser, who list 
pieces of gourds, gourd seeds, and a gourd-shaped vessel of black 
clay from bluff, 3 rock shelter, 4 and "ashe cave" 5 dwellings of pre- 
historic Kentuckians; F. H. Gushing, who found gourd vessels 
and gourd-shaped clay vessels which had been left "in profusion" 6 
by the "pile-dwellers" on the gulf coast of Florida; and W. H. 
Holmes, the eminent ethnologist, who made extensive studies of 
early American ceramic art. 

As to this art, Dr. Holmes says that in vegetal form for pot- 
tery the gourd predominated in the South. It is "probably the 
most varied and suggestive natural vessel. We find that the 

1 In keeping with the place the gourd has held in the South's history, the Gourd Club of 
Cary, North Carolina — the Alpha Chapter cf the Gourd Society of America whose head- 
quarters are in Boston, Massachusetts — holds an annual Gourd Festival. Here, in adidtion to 
the displays of hard-shell and ornamental gourds grown each season by the members, are 
exhibits of old gourds which have served in the past in ways mentioned in this article 
together with surprisingly varied types of the members' gourd craftsmanship. Moreover, 
a broader phase of the gourd is emphasized : its significance, symbolism, and usages in 
many parts of the world. Thus the Festival promotes in a singular manner the spirit of 

2 N. C. Nelson, "Contributions to the Archeology of Mammoth Cave and Vicinity," 
Anthropological Papers, American Museum of Natural History, Part 1, XVII, 29. 

3 W. S. Webb and W. D. Funkhouser, "The McLeed Buff Site in Hickman County, Ken- 
tucky," reports in Archeology and Anthropology, University of Kentucky, III, 29. 

4 "Rock Shelters in Manifee County, Kentucky," reports in Archeology and Anthropology, 
III, 155. 

5 "The So-called 'Ash-Caves' in Lee County, Kentucky," reports in Archeology and 
Anthropology, I, 57. 

6 Quoted by W. H. Holmes, "Aboriginal Pottery of the Eastern United States," Fourth 
Annual Report, Bureau of American Ethnology, 128. 


The Gourd in Southern History 301 

primitive potter has often copied it in the most literal manner." 7 
Furthermore, in the process of shaping such clay vessels, he 
states that sections of gourd shell served as molds on "the inner 
surface to support the wall . . . while scrapers were used to manip- 
ulate the exterior surface which rendered the walls sufficiently 
thin and even and polished." Then he adds that in many instances 
the scrapers were pieces of gourd shell. 8 

Again, a strikingly handsome example of a gourd dipper in 
pottery form, pleasingly decorated, came from a mound in south- 
ern Alabama. 9 And in Noel Stone Grave Cemetery in middle 
Tennessee was found a little terra-cotta gourd-shaped rattle, 
"well burned but slightly fractured in digging." Inside the rattle 
were clay pellets. "This may have quieted many an urchin in 
prehistoric days." 10 

Then, in later years, certain successors of these gourd-growers 
and potters fortunately for us were portrayed in art just as 
they were first seen by colonizing expeditions which came to 
North Carolina and Florida. Here in the wonderful water color 
drawings of John White and the exquisite paintings of Jacques 
Le Moyne we see the gourd as dish or bowl, container, water- jar, 
and rattle. Indeed, White's "A chieff Ladye of Pomeiooc" is 
carrying a "gourde full of some kinde of pleasant liquor." One 
wonders if this was a native perfume or a native drink ! 

Also, the gourd was serving certain Southern tribes as ladle, 
dry measure, bait container, fish carrier, strainer, funnel, flage- 
olet, whistle, life-belt float, martin's nest, and mask. 11 The Rappa- 
hannock Indians of Virginia had a gourd lamp which consisted of 
a gourd filled with clay and slivers of "fatwood" thrust in the 
center of the clay. 12 

It was in the religious life of the early Southern Indian, how- 
ever, that the gourd played its most colorful role. Here the gourd 
rattle was especially prized as the instrument of magic in the 
hands of the shaman, medicine man, or priest. 

7 Holmes, "Aboriginal Pottery of the Eastern United States," Fourth Annual Report, 
Bureau of American Ethnology, 446. 

8 Holmes, "Aboriginal Pottery of the Eastern United States," Fourth Anual Report, 
Bureau of American Ethnology, 54. 

9 Henry Clyde Shetrone, The Mound-builders, 141. 

10 Gates P. Thurston, The Antiquities of Tennessee and the Adjacent States, 164. 

11 Frank G. Speck, Gourds of the Southeastern Indians, 51. 

12 Frank G. Speck, "The Gourd Lamp among the Virginia Indians," American 
Anthropoligist, XLIII, 676. 

302 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The Comanche medicine man was known to rattle his gourd 
all night long as he prayed and chanted. 13 The ruler of the Tejas 
Indians interpreted the noise of his rattle, when thrown on the 
ground, as the voice of God answering to grant or to refuse the 
ruler's petition for "a great deal of corn, good health, fleetness 
in chasing the deer and the buffalo, and great strength for 
fighting their enemies." 14 When Cabeza de Vaca and his com- 
panions of the Coronado Expedition were traveling through 
Texas, "he secured some gourds or rattles, which were greatly 
reverenced among these Indians and which never failed to pro- 
duce a most respectful behavior whenever they were exhibited." 15 
In the Green Corn Dance of the Creeks of Alabama, "the struc- 
tures of the sacred square were festooned with gourd vines"; 
gourd rattles provided an accompaniment to the "low sustained 
chant" of the dancers ; and the "black drink" of purification for 
the new year just beginning was taken "with a most reverential 
expression" from a gourd dipper. 16 William Byrd, Daniel Boone, 
George Washington, and many others have given us interesting 
descriptions of Indian festivities in which the gourd rattle was 
the principal musical instrument. 

It is not surprising that the white settlers in the South, having 
seen how useful gourds were to the Indian, began to plant them 
in their gardens. When Anna Catharina moved from Pennsyl- 
vania to the Moravian settlement of Bethabara in North Carolina 
in 1762, she mentioned gourds as among the plants in the gardens 
there. 17 The agricultural and horticultural enthusiast, Thomas 
Jefferson, was very proud of the gourds he grew in his garden 
at Monticello and the gourd seeds he gave to friends both in 
America and in France. According to his garden diary he raised 
both the common varieties and unusual ones. He once sent Ber- 
nard McMahon, seedsman and florist of Philadelphia, certain seed 
of which McMahon wrote Jefferson on December 26, 1806 : 

"Of the Cucurbita you were so kind as to send me, some grew 
to the length of five feet five inches. I have one of them now 

13 J. Frank Dobie, "Stories in Texas Place Names," Straight Texas, Publications of the 
Texas Folk-lore Society. XIII, 33. 

14 Mattie Austin Hatcher, "Descriptions of the Tejas or Asinai Indians," Southwestern 
Historical Quarterly, XXV, 291. 

15 George Parker Winship, "The Coronado Expedition, 1540-1942," Fourth Annual Report, 
Bureau of American Ethnology, Part I, 360 

16 John R. Swanton, "The Green Corn Dance," Chronicles of Oklahoma, 10, 181. 

17 Adelaide L. Fries, The Road to Salem, 109. 


























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The Gourd in Southern History 303 

in my shop window, perfectly dry, which is five feet one inch 
long, perfectly straight and in every part about four inches in 
diameter." 18 Jefferson mentions gourds several times in his 
garden diary. Another diarist, Dr. Martin W. Phillips, owner of 
a large plantation in Mississippi, records that in April, 1840, 
"The frost on the morning of the 31st [May] killed gourd 
leaves." 19 

With like regard for the gourd, the pioneer carried it as he 
ventured farther westward and the place of the gourd in South- 
ern frontier homes has been described in various instances. One 
writer says: 

Sanitation was a little-known term, but nice home-makers knew 
that scalding water, soap or ashes and long hours of sunning on 
the high out-side shelf at the back of the kitchen brought a cer- 
tain purity and sweetness to the milk crocks or gourds. . . . Short 
handled gourds were used for milking ; and one with two holes in 
it, plus a square of cloth, served as a milk strainer. Nice people 
also hung their drinking gourds out of the cedar water-bucket. 
Trifling folks left the dipper in the bucket to become soggy and 
greenish-black with mold. Gourds also were useful for storing 
soft soap, coffee, brown sugar, shelled peas, beans, corn, dried 
peppers, popcorn, dried fruit, dried pumpkin, etc. The top of the 
squatty fatty gourd was cut carefully so as to make a lid. The 
newcomers took pride in the gourds they raised, but they were 
never able to grow as large fatty gourds as back in Georgia or 
the Carolinas. Molasses and honey did not do so well in gourds 
but kept better in whisky barrels. Lard kept very well in a well- 
cleaned gourd ; and often a small one was used for the drippings, 
though likely to be soggy. ... In the summer-time the family 
toilette was made outdoors. The tin or gourd washpan sat on 
its block of wood, and over it hung the family towel and comb. . . . 
The slovens were those who let their gourds get soggy. 20 

At that time the woman carried water in a large gourd to the 
men working in the field and she blew on a gourd horn to call 
them to dinner. She used the neck of a gourd as sausage stuffer. 
She kept the stockings to be darned in a big gourd, and she used 
a small, egg-shaped one when darning. She gave the baby a gourd 
rattle to shake as a toy and to cut his teeth on. 

M Thomas Jefferson, Garden Book, 1766-1824, 317. 

19 Franklin L. Riley, "Diary of a Mississippi Planter, January 1, 1840 to April, 1863," 
Publications of the Mississippi Historical Society, X, 319. 

30 Afton Wynn, "Pioneer Folk Ways," in J. Frank Dobie's Straight Texas, Publications of 
the Texas Folk-lore Society, XIII, 210, 211, 232. 

304 The North Carolina Historical Keview 

The man, when hunting deer or bear, sometimes carried his 
powder in a gourd. Then, later as a soldier of the American 
Revolution, he took that same powder gourd with him to the 
battlefield. On display in the Hall of History in Raleigh, North 
Carolina, there are three such gourds which were carried to battle 
by James Carr, Nicholas Lewis, and Captain Samuel Martin. 

Moreover, the gourd of the pioneer days had a prominent 
place in merry-making. Music for the square dance consisted 
of various tunes and among these was "Sugar in the Gourd." 
And there was the gourd banjo. According to Miss Jean Thomas, 
"the Traipsin' Woman," founder of the American Folk Song Fes- 
tival, this was a straight, long-necked gourd, cut flat on one side, 
the seed scooped out, the opening covered with paper glued down 
with flour paste. The strings were wire or cat gut. 21 

Miss Thomas also states that in sections of the Blue Ridge the 
gourd still serves as wassail cup from which sweet cider is drunk 
in the keeping of Old Christmas on January sixth. 22 

In the realm of story, it was the Cherokee who was the first 
Southerner to introduce the gourd. In one of their best-known 
animal myths, "Ball Game of the Birds and Animals," the martin 
retrieved the ball at a crucial point of the contest and for this 
was given a gourd "in which to build his nest, and he still has it." 23 

Today Paul Green treats the martin pole in his short story, 
"The Humble Ones," where the wind swayed the dry gourds on 
the martin poles and they "knocked mournfully together" on the 
"crossarms" which "looked like a gallows." 24 In his symphonic 
drama, The Lost Colony, he depicts Uppowoc, the medicine man, 
with a feathered gourd rattle while old Tom, the philosopher- 
buffoon, carries a gourd dipper with his wooden bucket of water. 

Bernice Kelly Harris philosophizes in her Sweet Beulah Land: 
"Puttin' a handle to a gourd don't make it no dipper." 25 Mar- 
jorie Kinnan Rawlings mentions gourds many times in her de- 
scriptions of life in the "scrub-country" of Florida. Cecile Hulse 
Matschat, also writing of Florida, tells of drinking liquor out of 
a gourd at a still. 26 

21 Jean Thomas, Blue Ridge Country, 44. 

22 Thomas, Blue Ridge Country, 159. 

23 James Mooney, "Myths of the Cherokee," Nineteenth Annual Report, Bureau of 
American Ethnology, part I, 287. 

24 Paul Green, Salvation on a String and Other Tales of the South, 63. 

25 Bernice Kelly Harris, Sweet Beulah Land, 20. 

26 Cecile Hulse Matschat, Suwannee River, 156. 

The Gourd in Southern History 


Among the poets who have sung of the gourd is John Charles 
McNeill. In "Tommy Smith," he sings of "the old cider-hogshead 
. . . with the brimming gourd." 27 And in "Before Bedtime" he 

Paw bends to read his almanac 

An' study out the weather, 
An' Bud has got a gourd o' grease 

To ile his harness leather. 28 

This paper cites only a few references out of a vast amount of 
material relating to the true significance and rich tradition of 
the gourd in the South throughout the years. Research regard- 
ing the same gourd which hung as a dipper by the old spring or 
well continues to reveal new, delightful, and interesting aspects 
of the subject. 

27 John Charles McNeill, Songs Merry and Sad. 

28 McNeill, Songs Merry and Sad. 



By Mary Elizabeth Massey 

During the Civil War there were many commodity shortages 
that affected the Confederate civilian population. Insufficient 
housing accommodations, utilities, clothing, medicine, transpor- 
tation facilities, and paper, as well as the lack of hundreds of 
miscellaneous items, kept the people ever alert in the search for 
substitutes. But no single shortage caused such grave concern 
among the civilians as that of food, for there were areas in 
which even the coarsest, most commonplace items were unob- 
tainable. This situation became increasingly serious as the war 
years dragged on, until by 1865 the areas affected were wide- 
spread. There were several factors causing this shortage. The 
blockade, the lack of a self-sufficient economy in the South, the 
failure of governmental and private attempts to diversify suffi- 
ciently agricultural production, the chauvinistic generosity of 
many people, especially in the early days of the war, and natural 
phenomena such as drouth, floods, and fires — all these combined 
to produce a shortage of food and drink. More important than 
any of these causes, however, were the shortage of manpower, 
the breakdown of transportation facilities, the impressment 
policy of the Confederate government, speculation, and hoarding. 
Combining forces, these factors produced a grave problem that 
at times became insurmountable. Hunger and near starvation 
were the result in some parts of the Confederacy, while in all 
sections food and drink substitutes were forced upon the people 
by the absolute inability to get certain commodities. 

Contemporary letters, diaries, and newspapers contain frequent 
reference to the food shortage. A few mention abundance of food 
in one section or another, but that is unusual. The rank and file 
seem to have felt the pinch of the times. While one family might 
have plenty to eat, next door there might be hunger. Such was 
the case in the Virginia village where Mrs. Cornelia McDonald 
lived during a part of the war. While she was forced to live upon 
the simple fare of bread and water, there were those in her 


Food and Drink Shortage 307 

neighborhood who could dine sumptuously. 1 Constance Cary, 
later Mrs. Burton Harrison, wrote that she could not remember 
getting up from a single meal while she was in Richmond in 
1864-1865 "without wishing there were more of it," 2 while an- 
other young lady, who chanced to be visiting on a Virginia plan- 
tation that had been untouched by the war, found delicacies in 
bounteous quantity. 3 Although there were some who managed 
to have a sufficiency, there were others in the South who regu- 
larly felt the pangs of hunger. One writer declared that "the 
Confederacy was always hungry." 4 

While generalization is both impossible and dangerous, it may 
be said accurately that there was nearly always a food shortage in 
certain areas. Those near the battle lines were most often swept 
clean of all food. Foragers from both Confederate and Federal 
armies preyed upon the land. That section of Virginia which was 
a battleground for four years saw the food problem daily becom- 
ing more acute. Here the battle against starvation was fought 
during the entire war. 5 In other areas the armies swept across 
the land at varying times, leaving hunger in their paths. Such 
a destructive march was that of General Sherman's army across 
Georgia and thence northward into the Carolinas. That section 
had felt little actual hunger prior to this maneuver, but the 
destitution left by the Federals was widespread and severe. One 
girl who witnessed this march reported that the people in Georgia 
eagerly sought stray bits of corn left uneaten by the horses; 6 
another told of searching for stray minie balls left on the field 
of battle and exchanging them for food at Confederate headquar- 
ters. 7 While civilians living near the battle areas keenly felt the 
shortage of food, those living in so called "refugee havens" like- 
wise faced the problem. In an attempt to flee from the enemy, 
many thousands were swept into areas believed to be safe from 
invasion. As such areas contracted with each passing month, 
more and more people were herded into less and less space. The 
problem of feeding these people became immense and sometimes 

1 Cornelia McDonald, A Diary with Reminiscences of the Wor and Refugee Life in the 
Shenandoah Valley, 24, 

2 Mrs. Burton Harrison, Recollections Grave and Gay, 191. 

3 Myrta Lockett Avary, A Virginia Girl in the Civil War, 357. 

* Robert Courtney Hall, "Confederate Medicine," Medical Life, XLII (1935), 480. 

6 George Alfred Townsend, Campaigns of a Non-Combatant and His Romaunt Abroad 
During the War, 240; Catherine Cooper Hopley, Life in the South: From the Commencement 
of the War, II, 108; Mrs. Virginia Clay-Clopton, A Belle of the Fifties, 222. 

8 Eliza Frances Andrews, The War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl, 38. 

7 Mary A. H. Gay, Life in Dixie During the War, 248. 

308 The North Carolina Historical Review 

impossible. Then it was that the shortages became widespread 
and hunger appeared where it had not been before. 8 In cities, too, 
food shortages created immense problems. Depending upon the 
surrounding rural areas for their subsistence, the city dwellers 
were sometimes forced to do without even the simplest food. 
Farmers often refused to bring their produce to town, even when 
they had it. The fear of the impressment officers, coupled with 
the poor roads, was most frequently the cause of withholding the 
farm produce. So bad did the situation become in some cities that 
the inhabitants were seen eating the refuse from garbage cans. 9 
One diarist wrote that the people of Richmond lived in a clean 
city, for "everything [is] being so cleanly consumed that no gar- 
bage or filth can accumulate." He added that the citizens of the 
capital were "such good scavengers" that there was "no need for 
buzzards." 10 Richmond felt the food shortage for a longer period 
of time, and more severely, than did any other city, for into the 
capital had come thousands of government workers, military 
figures, onlookers, seekers of favors, travelers, and men of for- 
tune. The population grew to such an extent that even had normal 
amounts of produce come into Richmond they would have proved 
insufficient for the increased population. But normal amounts did 
not come during the war, so that the food problem was a grave 
one in the capital. Besieged towns, too, were often driven to great 
lengths to obtain enough food to keep the people alive. Vicks- 
burg and Petersburg were in desperate straits during the days 
that they were under siege. In both these towns all sorts of food 
substitutes were utilized. While the food shortage was felt most 
severely in these and other towns and cities in the Confederacy, 
it was by no means absent from the rural areas. Some rural folk 
suffered ; others did not. Some areas were without sufficient food a 
part of the time, while others usually had enough for their people. 
Few, however, were those people or places that had prewar quan- 
tities during the entire four years. The political leaders often 
received letters from their friends and constituents in rural 
areas, telling of the hardships and asking that something be done. 
Secretary of War Seddon received such a letter in the spring of 

8 Edward Alfred Pollard, The Lost Cause: A New Southern History of the War of the 
Confederates, 482. 

8 Armistead Churchill Gordon, "Hard-Times in the Confederacy," The Century Magazine, 
XXXVI (1883), 762. 

10 John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War-Clerk's Diary, II, 156. 

Food and Drink Shortage 309 

1864, written by Thomas S. Babcock for a group of citizens in 
Appomattox County, Virginia. It declared that corn could not 
be found and the situation was described as "urgent." The aid of 
Secretary Seddon was sought with the hope of easing a "sober 
and lamentable reality." 11 A particularly graphic plea was written 
by several county leaders of Rockingham County, Virginia, to 
the Honorable James B. Baldwin in late fall of 1864. Conditions 
in this county were described as "appalling and unparalleled"; 
there was barely enough food "to sustain life," and the people 
"were almost reduced to beggary." 12 The rural folk always evi- 
denced much concern when there was a lack of sufficient food. 
They never seemed able to take it in their stride as did their city 
friends. One lady remarked that as she traveled about rural areas 
of the South, the people seemed far more interested in "the non- 
arrival of a jug of molasses or a sack of meal than in the issue 
of battles." 13 

In determining what groups of people felt the food shortage 
most keenly, it is again impossible to generalize. Evidence points 
to the fact that the poor people of the Confederacy found it ex- 
tremely difficult to get enough to eat. Despite the generosity of 
many in helping the poor, most of the organized charities were 
found in the larger towns, and those in remote areas were unable 
to benefit by their charity. Others had too much pride to become 
beggars, so they went hungry. There was hunger, however, 
among those who were widely known in Confederate circles. 
Such outstanding people as Joseph LeConte 14 and his daughter, 
Emma, mention the scarcity of food in their pantry. 15 Constance 
Cary, one of the favorites of Richmond society during the war, 
went hungry many times, 10 while Mrs. Joseph E. Johnston, wife 
of the Confederate general, at one time had only cornbread and 
sorghum molasses to eat. 17 There were many similar cases among 
the better known and more affluent members of the Confederacy, 
but this group, more often than any other, got the rare articles 
when they were available. Mrs. Jefferson Davis admitted that 

11 The War of Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union und 
Confederate Armies, Series IV, III, 285. (Hereafter cited as Official Records.) 

12 Official Records, Series IV, III, 845-846. 

13 Harrison, Recollections, 86. 

14 William Dallam Armes, Autobiography of Joseph LeConte, 229. 

15 Emma Florence LeConte, Diary, January 23, 1865, Southern Historical Collection, 
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N. C. 

16 Harrison, Recollections, 191. 

17 Mrs. D. Giraud Wright, A Southern Girl in '61, 194. 

310 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the household of the President had fewer deprivations "than 
those of persons not holding such high official positions." 18 This 
is further verified by Mrs. James Chesnut, Jr., wife of the South 
Carolina Senator, who dined with Mrs. Davis late in the war. On 
the presidential table she found chicken, oysters, gumbo, duck, 
olives, salad, lettuce, chocolate ice cream, jelly, cake, claret, and 
champagne. 19 Other persons of high rank benefitted by their 
"connections." Secretary of the Treasury George Trenholm as- 
sisted his friends in securing from abroad various scarce and 
almost forgotten items, 20 and Secretary of the Navy Stephen R. 
Mallory was accused of indulging in a diet that would delight 
the most critical epicure. 21 But these leaders and their circles of 
intimate friends composed only a small percentage of the Con- 
federates. The rank and file fared simply on the most monoto- 
nous of diets; and coffee, tea, salt, and sugar made their exit 
early in the war. Shortages of these items continued to be fairly 
general, except in those parts of the Confederacy west of the 
Mississippi where sugar was grown. Rich or poor, famous or little 
known, all people had to forego their usual indulgences in these 
items. The more ingenious sought and found substitutes for some 
of the items, while others were unsuccessful. 

Recognizing the food shortages, the newspapers and periodic- 
als of the time made room for recipes and the results of culinary 
research. When the Southern Illustrated News was founded in 
Richmond, in September, 1862, the promise was given the readers 
that a place would be given "to all good recipes furnished by 
experienced housekeepers." 22 Recipe books published during the 
war stressed shortages and modeled the recipes to fit the times. 
Housewives cut these recipes from magazines and newspapers 
and made their own wartime recipe books. One kept by a South 
Carolina housewife is so typically "Confederate" that it merits 
description. Bound in the coarsest of homespun, the book contains 
recipes written on the blank side of Confederate money, old 
envelopes, and letters, all cut to a uniform size. 23 All the war 

18 Mrs. Varina Howell Davis, Jefferson Davis: Ex-President of the Confederate States of 
America: A Memoir, II, 529. 

10 Mary Boykin Chesnut, A Diary From Dixie, 284. 

20 Thomas Livingston Bayne, "Life in Richmond, 1863-1865," Confederate Veteran, XXX 
(1922), 100. 

21 Jones, Diary, II, 290. 

22 Southern Illustrated News, September 27, 1862. 

23 Confederate Recipe Book, Manuscript Division, Confederate Museum, Richmond, 

Food and Drink Shortage 311 

recipes were simple, and war names were given to various con- 
coctions, such as "Rebel Bread" and "Beaureguard Cake." 24 

The same periodicals that gave so much space to the recipes 
also encouraged the planting of food crops in place of cotton and 
tobacco. State legislation on this subject was a direct outgrowth 
of the newspaper campaign. The papers made appeals to the 
farmers to meet together and discuss this topic. When they did 
come together and decide to forsake the planting of cotton for 
corn, they received publicity for their actions. Not only would 
the hometown paper publish the news of the farmers' unselfish- 
ness, but the story would find its way into newspapers far from 
the scene of the action. 25 The newspapers urged not only the 
planting of food crops, but the planting of more than the family 
could use. A South Carolina paper thought that, if everyone 
would plant one-fifth more than the family could consume, the 
farmers could beat the famine. 26 The widely read Southern 
Cultivator told the southern people that the planting of food 
crops was not a matter of choice ; it was "a matter of necessity." 27 
And the Wilmington Journal subtly reminded the meat-loving and 
meat-hungry Confederacy that "corn is pork in rough." 28 Not 
only was the large planter urged by Southern editors to plant 
food crops, but the people in both city and town were encouraged 
to plant gardens. The practice of growing vegetables on any avail- 
able plot of ground became universal during the war. J. B. Jones 
noted, with great satisfaction, that on his lot in Richmond "Every 
inch of ground is in cultivation — even the ash heap is covered 
all over with tomato vines." 29 But this did not entirely satisfy 
him. When he wanted to grow vegetables through the cold winter 
months, he made a hotbed out of a flour barrel sawed in half, 
and in this he planted corn, cabbage, tomatoes, beets, and egg- 
plant. Being portable, this ingenious device could be brought 
indoors in cold weather. 30 Women as well as men cultivated gar- 
dens with an uncommon enthusiasm. By doing so they assured 
themselves and their families of a supply of fresh vegetables 

24 Susan Dabney Smedes, Memorials of a Southern Planter, 224. 

25 Wilmington Journal, April 24, 1862, quoting a resolution of farmers passed in Russell 
County, Alabama; Southern Confederacy, April 1, 1862; Daily Express (Petersburg), May 
27, 1861, quoting the Oxford (Mississippi) Mecury, May 8, 1861. 

26 Daily Southern Guardian (Columbia), February 28, 1862. 

27 Southern Cultivator, XX (1862), 80. 

28 Wilmington Journal, April 24, 1862. 

29 Jones, Diary, II, 9. 

30 Jones, Diary, II, 135. 

312 The North Carolina Historical Review 

in time of scarcity. When Mrs. James Chesnut called on Mrs. 
Raphael Semmes in Richmond, she found the wife of the famous 
Confederate admiral working patiently with her lettuce and 
radishes. 31 Mrs. Robert Francis Withers Allston, upon the death 
of her husband, the former governor of South Carolina, planted 
a vegetable garden in order that the diet of her family might 
be supplemented. Her daughter proudly recorded that the prod- 
ucts of her mother's labor were "wonderful." 32 

Whether a person cultivated a small plot of ground or many 
acres, the problem of obtaining seed was a major one. In former 
years many of these had been imported from the North, but with 
that channel of trade blocked it became necessary for the south- 
ern people to produce all of their seed. One editor rebuked his 
readers for having depended upon the North for this item. He 
wrote: "There's no real necessity for this. We grow as good seed 
and as many of them as any portion of Yankeedom." He urged 
that the people of the South be careful to save all necessary seed. 33 
Because of the shortage, the spirit of cooperation grew up 
among the people. Notices were published in papers by those 
who had a surplus, and this surplus was sold, exchanged, or 
given away to those who needed it. 34 It became quite common to 
use the office of the local editor as a clearing house for these 
transactions. Despite such efforts to distribute seed, the short- 
age continued. In the spring of 1863 pea, bean, corn, and tomato 
seed were not to be had in Richmond, 35 and in February, 1865, 
an amateur gardener in the same city bought a quarter ounce of 
cabbage seed at $10 per ounce. 30 While some seed came through 
the blockade, there were never enough to satisfy the demand. 37 

While the cultivation of food crops and the saving of seed were 
encouraged by the editors, the preservation of fruits and vege- 
tables was also encouraged. Many papers carried instructions for 
the preserving and drying of surplus produce. One editor sug- 
gested that "every apple should be saved, both for food and 
vinegar." 38 The recipe books of the war years give evidence of 
the increased interest in methods of preserving food. 

ni Chestnut, Diary, 294. 

M Elizabeth Allston Pringle, Chronicles of Chicora Wood, 294. 

™ Daily Express, October 21, 1861. 

34 C. C. Hopley, Life in the South, II, 293. 

88 Jones, Diary, I, 274. 

M Jones, Diary, II, 293. 

M Horace Smith Fulkerson, A Civilian's Recollection of the War Between the States, 146. 

M Richmond Whig, May 15, 1862 

Food and Drink Shortage 313 

Specific food shortages began to appear early in the war, and 
they continued throughout the conflict. The most prevalent and 
serious shortages were of meat, salt, fats of all kinds, white 
sugar, and wheat breads. Fruit and vegetables, as well as mis- 
cellaneous foods, including condiments, were also lacking. Among 
the beverages which disappeared during the war were coffee, 
tea, imported liquors, and to a lesser extent domestic liquors, and 
in some areas milk. In an effort to supply themselves and their 
families with as nearly the genuine article as possible, the house- 
wife constantly searched for substitutes. Much interest was stim- 
ulated among the women of the Confederacy by this amateur 
contest involving cooking skills and ingenuity; and the results 
of this research were exchanged, compared, and discussed. Some 
admitted failure to find substitutes for various items, while 
others were sure they had found a substitute that was just as 
satisfactory as the original. But good or poor, successful or other- 
wise, there were substitutes. 

Among the most complained of food shortages was that of 
meat. The lack of this essential item of diet caused concern among 
many. The South was accustomed to consume quantities of pork, 
but even this domestic product proved scarce during the war. The 
lack of sufficient feed, the absence of men accustomed to preside 
over the butchering and curing, and the lack of sufficient salt to 
cure the pork properly — all combined to produce the shortage. 
In the years before the war, much of the beef consumed in the 
lower South and the seaboard area had been brought from Ten- 
nessee, Kentucky, the Mid-West, and the Trans-Mississippi 
region. Although these areas continued to supply the Confeder- 
acy in varying quantities through most of 1862, 39 by midsummer 
of 1863 all of these sources were lost to the Confederacy, as far 
as supplying it with any large amount of provisions was con- 
cerned. The people in the Cis-Mississippi region turned toward 
raising stock in an effort to produce their own meat. 40 But it took 
time to produce cattle for slaughter, and the lack of grain and 
experience, combined with the time element and war destruction, 
made it impossible for the eastern Confederacy to produce its 

39 William S. Pettigrew to Charles Pettigrew, April 27, 1862, Pettigrew Papers, Southern 
Historical Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N. C. 

40 Carolina Watchman (Salisbury), November 10, 1862. 

314 The North Carolina Historical Review 

own meat in sufficient quantities. The meat shortage remained 
serious during the entire conflict. 

Many butcher shops closed their doors, and those that man- 
aged to stay opened had little or no meat. 41 When meat was 
available, it was well for the housewife or servant to arise early 
and rush to purchase some of the rare article. The supply was 
usually exhausted in the early morning. 42 Under these circum- 
stances, many were forced to forego meat, but their craving for 
it diminished not at all. It was said that, in the prayers for daily 
bread, there was usually added, "And a little meat, too, Lord." 43 
Those who did manage to obtain meat got much less than was 
needed to feed the family according to prewar standards, and so 
a little was often made to go a long way. In 1863 in one house- 
hold a pound of meat was made to serve "seven hungry children," 
the parents, and a servant, 44 but by 1864, an ounce of meat per 
person daily was considered ample for the times. 45 

Under such circumstances there was nothing to do but use 
substitutes. The most common were fish and fowl. One diarist 
wrote that "fish became the staple article of diet," but to get 
this, it was necessary to be at the market "before the break of 
day, and frequently . . . the crowd that pressed around the market 
was so dense that many were compelled to leave without any- 
thing." 46 While many were encouraged to partake of such meat 
substitutes as oysters, in season, and save the meat for the fight- 
ing men, oysters too were scarce. In Wilmington they were two 
dollars a "fry" when available, 47 while in Charleston an editor 
missed them so much that he wrote an editorial on the subject. In 
the course of the article he said: "One of the charmed months, 
bearing the mystic R has passed away and another is % spent 
and our eyes have not been gladdened nor our palates excited 
by so much as even 1 specimen of our old molluscuous favorites." 48 
A poor substitute for oysters was offered. This was made of 
green corn, egg, flour, butter, salt, and pepper mixed together 

41 Frank Moore, The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events with Documents, 
Narratives, Illustrations, Incidents, Poetry, Etc., VII, 67. (Hereafter cited as Rebellion 
Record. ) 

42 Richmond Enquirer, November 2, 1863. 

43 Alexander Hunter, "The Woman of Mosby's Confederacy," Confederate Veteran, XV 
(1907), 259. 

44 McDonald, Diary, 198. 

45 Jones, Diary, II, 185; Mrs. Roger Pryor, My Day: Reminiscences of a Long Life, 208. 
u Sallie A. Putnam, Richmond During the War, 113. 

47 Wilmington Journal, November 22, 1862. 

48 Charleston Mercury, October 16, 1862. 

Food and Drink Shortage 315 

in a batter and fried. 49 This, of course could be used only when 
the ingredients were available, and some of these items came 
to be scarce. In an effort to get fish, those who could turned to 
fishing. One Louisiana father used to awaken his children early 
every morning with the call, "Get up girls, fish or no breakfast." 50 
That more fish were not used as meat substitutes was due to 
the lack of equipment for catching them. There was a shortage 
of hooks, lines, seines, and traps, and there was difficulty in 
fishing off the coast during the war. 51 

In addition to fish there were other substitutes both palatable 
and nourishing. Among these were eggs. One contemporary re- 
marked that the "hundred ways of cooking an egg became well- 
known in the Confederacy." 52 Fowl and wild game were used 
when obtainable, but these were not often to be had at any price. 
Hunting became more than a sport, for in this way the "meat" 
was often supplied those living in rural areas. One editor ran 
this in his paper: "We want to buy a coon and 'possum dog, 
[with which to hunt] our meat during the coming year. ... A 
dog that will hunt coon, possum and kill sheep occasionally will 
command a good price at these 'headquarters.' " 53 But hunters 
who had fine dogs with which to hunt were often stymied by the 
lack of ammunition, for most of this found its way into the 
Army. 54 

With meat practically non-existent, fishing tackle scarce and 
ammunition for hunting purposes hard to obtain, other substi- 
tutes had to be found. By the fall of 1864 things had come to 
such a state that one editor suggested that his readers resort 
to eating rats, frogs, fried snails, young crow, snakes, locusts, 
earthworms, birds' nests, cats, and dogs; he added that "a word 
to the wise is sufficient." 55 By this time, however, many Confed- 
erates had already been eating these things. Rats had become an 
item in the diet of many. President Davis was quoted as saying 
that he saw no reason for not eating rats, for he thought they 

49 Confederate Receipt Book: A Compilation of Over One Hundred Receipts Adapted to the 
Times, 7, 8. The recipe for artificial oyster is: "Take young green corn, grate it in a dish; 
to one pint of this add one egg, well-beaten, a small teacup of flour, two or three tablespoons 
of butter, some salt and pepper, mix them all together. A tablespoon of the batter will make 
the size of an oyster. Fry them light brown, and when done butter them." 

60 Frances Fearn, Diary of a Refugee, 18-19. 

51 Official Records, Series IV, II, 915-918. 

62 Harrison, Recollections, 134-135. 

53 Southern Confederacy (Atlanta), October 7, 1862. 

64 Jones, Diary, II, 135. 

65 Montgomery Daily Advertiser, September 16, 1864. 

316 The North Carolina Historical Review 

would be as "good as squirrels." 50 Rats were eaten in quantity 
by the citizens of besieged Vicksburg. On the eve of the capitu- 
lation of that city, a lady noted that rats were "hanging dressed 
in the market for sale . . . there is nothing else." 57 Rats some- 
times brought as much as $2.50 each. 58 In Richmond, too, they 
found their way to tables, while recipes for cooking them were 
circulated among the women. 59 Rats, however, never became the 
item of diet that mule-meat did. In Vicksburg mules were slaugh- 
tered daily and sold to those who wanted fresh meat. 00 But this 
meat was expensive. A lady said that she sent "five dollars to 
market each morning, and it buys a small piece of mule meat." 61 
Mrs. Roger A. Pryor, who spent a part of the war in Petersburg, 
Virginia, wrote that one morning she saw a dead mule "lying on 
the common, and out of its side had been cut a very neat square 
chunk of flesh." 02 Some people, in their hunger for meat, ate 
their pets. A resident of one of the caves in Vicksburg had her 
daughter's pet jay-bird killed and made into soup; 03 and con- 
siderable controversy arose in Savannah when a group of men 
were accused of rounding up dogs, slaughtering them, and sell- 
ing them as lamb. 64 During the war the lowly peanut came into 
general use as a food, especially as a substitute for meat. 

The meat shortage probably would never have been so serious 
had it not been for the shortage of salt. This was needed as a 
preservative, yet it was almost totally lacking in most sections 
of the Confederacy. Of all shortages, lack of salt received more 
attention from the Confederate Congress and state legislatures 
than any other. Salt was desperately needed, and the lack of it 
caused thousands of pounds of meat to spoil. Salt had been pro- 
duced in the South prior to the war, but most of these sources 
were soon captured, and in some instances the salt mines were 
flooded by the Federals. The blockade made it increasingly diffi- 
cult to bring salt into the Confederacy through the ports. And 


56 Jones, Diary, II, 175. 

57 George Washington Cable, ed., "A Woman's Diary of the Seige of Vicksburg," Century 
Magazine, XXX (1885), 774. 

58 Putnam, Richmond During the War, 281. 

59 Phoebe Yates Pember, A Southern Woman's Story, 104, Mrs. Pember gives the fol- 
lowing recipe for cooking a rat: "The rat must be skinned, cleaned, his head cut off and 
his body laid open upon a square board, the legs stretched to their full extent and secured 
upon it with small tacks, then baste with bacon fat and roast before a good fire quickly like 
canvas back ducks." 

60 Mary Webster Loughborough, My Cave Life in Viclcesburg, 116. 
01 Cable, "A Woman's Diary," 771. 

62 Pryor, My Day, 204. 

63 Loughborough, My Cave Life in Vickesburg, 136-137. 
°* Savannah Republican, July 30, 1863. 

Food and Drink Shortage 317 

no satisfactory substitute could be found. Saltpetre was some- 
times used, but it, too, was always scarce, and the manufacturers 
of ammunition had first call on it. Wood ashes sometimes served 
as a substitute for salt, but this proved unsatisfactory. In the 
search for salt, many people scraped the dirt from the smoke- 
house floors, but this source was soon exhausted. Others tried 
boiling salt water until the salt could be extracted, but, although 
this was urged upon the people by the newspapers, it was a slow 
and expensive method, and the results were negligible. There was 
a shortage of kettles, barrels, and sacks needed in the making 
and shipping of salt. The congested and inadequate transporta- 
tion facilities also made it difficult to distribute equally the 
available salt, as well as the basic essentials necessary to its 
manufacture. A student of the salt problem in the Confederacy 
wrote that "despite the most persistent search . . . [and] enthu- 
siastic boring to locate subterranean brines, despite scientific 
testing of weak brines, no important new sources of salines were 
discovered, with one exception of the mine of rock at New 
Iberia [Louisiana]." 65 With only one new mine discovered, and 
with only one major salt producing area in the Confederacy, that 
of the Saltville, Virginia, works, there was need of a substitute. 
But an adequate substitute was never discovered, and the conse- 
quent lack of salt was one of the most serious shortages in the 

Among the many food shortages were fats of all kinds, butter, 
oils, lard, and mayonnaise. Of all these, the shortage of butter 
seemed to be most serious. Prior to the war, a large amount of 
butter had been shipped into southern cities from the North. 
This imported butter was said to be preferred because it was 
neatly packaged and "more satisfactory than that of domestic 
production." 06 With the coming of the war, it became necessary 
for the South to produce its own butter. In an effort to stimulate 
production, newspapers and farm journals presented the problem 
to their readers. In one such article the editor of the Southern 
Cultivator stressed the point that the reliance on northern butter 
was great, and that so far as he knew "there is not a dairy farm 
in the State of Georgia," yet he insisted that southern farmers 

eB Ella Lonn, Salt as a Factor in the Confederacy, 222. 
66 Daily Express (Petersburg), June 18, 1861. 

318 The North Carolina Historical Review 

must supply the demands of the Confederacy. 67 Despite the 
effort to stimulate production, there never was enough butter 
during the war. The words "No Butter" or "scant supply of 
butter" were consistently seen in the market reports of southern 
papers. Early in the war a Texas newspaper boasted that Texas 
could supply the whole Confederacy with butter. She failed to 
do so, however. 68 The scarcity continued during the entire four 
years of the war. When a housewife did succeed in finding a little 
butter, it was often rancid, but it was too precious to throw away. 
She, therefore, resorted to current recipes that told her how she 
might restore the sweetness to such butter. 69 Lard and cooking 
oils, like butter, were hard to obtain. About the only substitute 
for such items, but one that was given widespread publicity, 
was oil made from the seeds of sunflowers. It was described as 
an admirable substitute for olive oil. Mayonnaise, too, was an 
almost forgotten luxury in most homes. Because of the shortage 
of oils which form a base for this dressing, recipes were concocted 
that produced a substitute called mayonnaise only by courtesy. 
Even the simple ingredients needed were often lacking. 70 

With the possible exception of meat and salt, the food shortage 
most complained of was that of sugar. That part of the Confed- 
eracy lying east of the Mississippi River was almost entirely 
dependent on the sugar produced in Louisiana. When the Fed- 
erals took control of the area around New Orleans in 1862, the 
sugar supply of the Confederacy became smaller and smaller. 
When the Confederacy was bisected and the Mississippi River 
lost, the sugar supply from Mississippi to Virginia almost entirely 
disappeared. Only that hoarded by housewives, that arriving 
spasmodically by blockade runners, and the little cultivated in 
the area of Florida and Georgia was to be had. The shortage 
affected all people. As early as the summer of 1862, Mrs. Kirby 
Smith wrote her husband apologizing because she could not 
find any white sugar for him in Lynchburg. 71 Whenever a little 

67 Charles Wallace Howard, "Things Worthy of Attention," Southern Cultivator, XIX 
(1861), 201-203. 

68 New Orleans Picayune, June 28, 1861, quoting the Galveston Civilian. 

60 Confederate Receipt Book, 17. The following directions were given for sweetening butter: 
"Melt the butter in hot water, skim it off as clean as possible, and work it over again in a 
churn, add salt and fine sugar and press well." 

70 Confederate Recipe Book, Manuscript Division, Confederate Museum, Richmond, Virginia. 
"Mayonnaise without oil, Mix two teaspoons of mustard, 1 tablespoon of butter or bacon 
grease, salt to taste, pour gently on this one pint of milk or water in which a piece of 
celery has been boiled to give it taste, put on fire, and when boiling, thicken with one 
tablespoon of flour or starch and yoke of 1 egg. When cold beat in a wine glass of vinegar." 

71 Mrs. Kirby Smith to General Kirby Smith, June 30, 1862, Kirby Smith Papers, Southern 
Historical Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N. C. 

Food and Drink Shortage 319 

"real" sugar made its appearance on the table during the war, 
it received considerable comment, for it was among the scarcest 
of articles. 72 Because of the scant supply of white sugar, fairly 
satisfactory substitutes were found for the genuine article. Of 
all these substitutes, sorghum was most often used. It became 
familiar throughout the Confederacy. One lady said that "a his- 
tory of the 'Southern Confereracy' would be incomplete without 
. . . mention of sorghum/' 73 Another contemporary wrote that 
"the land was submerged in sorghum." 74 Sorghum mills sprang 
up like mushrooms throughout the South; they were, as a rule, 
primitive and inexpensive. They usually consisted of "three up- 
right cylinders, of which the center one, turned by horse-power, 
moved the other two by means of cog-wheels. A tub set under- 
neath the machine cought the juice," and this juice was boiled 
down and clarified. 75 In fact, this sorghum boiling "added an- 
other to the great Southern festivals of corn shucking and hog- 
killing." The result of each boiling was different. No two kettles 
were alike "in color, taste, or consistency." 76 Much interest was 
stimulated in the results, however, and the makers carried around 
samples to compare with those made by their friends. 77 When- 
ever the planter found himself unsure of some step in the pro- 
cedure of making sorghum, he would ask the advice of someone 
who did know. So it was that Robert F. W. Allston wrote to 
James Henry Hammond in the summer of 1862: "My sorgo is 
not yet ripe, when it is I desire to know how to proceed forewith, 
so as to lose neither time nor material in experimenting. With 
this in view, I beg you give me benefit of your experience." 78 
"Universal sweetner" that it was, sorghum was used whenever 
sugar was called for. It found its way into cake, cookies, and pies, 
but one of the most unusual uses was in jellies and preserves. 79 

78 Andrews, Journal, 26, 83. 

78 Clara Minor Lynn Papers, Manuscript Division, Confederate Museum, Richmond, 

7 * David Dodge (pseudonym) [O. W. Blacknall], "Domestic Economy in the Confederacy," 
Atlantic Monthly, LVIII (1886), 235. 

70 Mrs. M. P. Handy, "Confederate Makeshifts," Harper's Monthly Magazine, LII (1876), 

76 Dodge, "Domestic Economy in the Confederacy," Atlantic Monthly, LVIII (1886), 235. 

77 Parthenia Antoinette Hague, A Blockaded Family: Life in Southern Alabama During 
The War, 30. 

78 James Harold Easterby, ed., The South Carolina Rice Plantation As Revealed in th*. 
Papers of Robert F. W. Allston, 188. 

79 Clara Minor Lynn Papers, Manuscript Division, Confederate Museum, Richmond, 

320 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Sorghum jelly was fairly common, 80 but this, as well as pre- 
serves that contained sorghum, "always had a twang." 81 

There were other sugar substitutes but they never became as 
widely used as sorghum. Among these was honey. The people 
were encouraged to substitute honey for sugar, but the produc- 
tion of honey fell off during the war, and it was never sufficient 
to meet the demand. 82 Maple sugar was used whenever it was 
obtainable. This sugar, and maple syrup as well, was said by some 
to be "as good as that produced in the North." 83 Most of that 
used during the war came from the mountain areas, but it never 
reached the markets in sufficient quantities to supply the 
demand. 84 Persimmons were used to make sugar, 85 and both 
watermelons 86 and figs 87 were made into syrup and used as 

Because of the shortages of sugar and syrup, desserts prac- 
tically disappeared from southern tables. Usually on such im- 
portant occasions as Christmas the housewives would ingeniously 
concoct some dessert that would be acceptable, despite the sugar 
shortage. But even then many felt that apologies were in order, 
for to indulge in such luxuries was thought to be unpatriotic by 
many. Edmund Ruffin's granddaughter wrote him on Christmas 
Day, 1862, that her family was "so unfashionable as to have a 
dessert." 88 Molasses pie, made with sorghum, flour, and walnuts, 
was a fairly common dessert. 89 There were Confederate "ginger 
snaps" that contained no ginger or sugar and from descriptions 
very little "snap." 90 There were "plum puddings" without plums, 91 
but fruit cakes contained all sorts of fruit. One recipe called for 
dried apples, peaches, figs, walnuts, and hickory nuts, fla- 
vored with what few spices could be begged, borrowed, or stolen 

80 Confederate Recipe Book, Manuscript Division, Confederate Museum, Richmond, Virginia. 
"Sorghum jelly: Beat very light three eggs, and add them to 1 pint of sorghum. Set on to 
boil, stirring slowly until it thickens to the consistency of hominy." 

81 Handy, "Confederate Makeshifts," 578-579. 

82 Richmond Enquirer, July 25, 1864. 

88 D. M. Scott, "Selma and Dallas County, Alabama," Confederate Veteran, XXIV (1916), 

84 N. R. H. Dawson to his fiancee, March 21, 1862, N. R. H. Dawson Papers, Southern 
Historical Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N. C. He wrote: "There is 
no maple sugar in town (Richmond). The soldiers eat it all up in the mountains, and none 
of it comes to this market." 

85 Wilmington Journal, October 1, 1863. 
88 Hague, Blockaded Family, 31-32. 

87 Richmond Whig, October 1, 1863. 

88 "Nannie" to her grandfather, Edmund Ruffin, Edmund Ruffiin Papers, Southern 
Historical Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N. C. 

89 Pryor, My Day: Reminiscences of a Long Life, 319. 

90 Clara Minor Lynn Papers, Manuscript Division, Confederate Museum, Richmond, 
Virginia. The ginger snaps contained flour, sorghum, and pepper. 

n Clara Minor Lynn Papers. "Recipe for Plum Pudding .... dried apples, currants, suet, 
a little pepper for spice, and a mixture of corn meal and flour." 

Food and Drink Shortage 321 

and with corn whiskey "made by the government." 92 Another 
fruit cake contained "dried cherries, dried whortle berries, can- 
died watermelon rind and molasses." 93 Among the simplest of 
desserts was that made from crushed peanuts sweetened with 
whatever happened to be at hand. 94 Many a party was given 
during the war "with a gallon of sorghum and some goobers." 95 
The shortage of white sugar and syrup prevented the making 
of dainty desserts and pastries, but the scarcity of flour also 
contributed to the lack of these delicacies. High-grade white flour 
was practically unobtainable during most of the war. A favorite 
recipe for pie crust called for white potatoes in the absence of 
flour; 96 and corn meal was often used in making pastries, cake, 
and waffles. 97 If there had been a lack of flour for dessert only, 
there would have been no great problem, but bread became so 
scarce and expensive as to prevent its being used by the rank and 
file. Early attempts of newspapers to persuade the southern 
people to grow wheat met with little success, and that custom- 
arily bought in the North was not available during the war. With 
outside sources closed and with the lack of proper machinery, soil, 
weather, and experience to grow it at home, the supply of wheat 
dwindled. 98 The little flour that was milled was darker than the 
prewar flour and was much coarser. When one woman found 
some "Number One" flour hidden in a relative's house, she was 
so elated that she recalled it in later years. 99 Both dark and light 
flour continued scarce during the war. Whenever anyone was 
so fortunate as to receive any as a gift, friends were called in to 
share the wonderful delicacy. These "biscuit parties" were al- 
ways a success; one woman declared that some of the biscuits 
eaten at such an event "were more delicious than any eaten before 
or since." 100 Because of the scarcity of bread, housewives often 
had to resort to a sort of rationing with their families. One re- 
marked that it was "almost ludicrous to see with what painful 

92 Scott, "Selma and Dallas County, Alabama," 220. 

93 Lucy London Anderson, North Carolina Women of the Confederacy, 3. 

94 Francis Peyre Porcher, Resources of the Southern Fields, and Forests, Medical, 
Economical, and Agricultural, 228. 

95 Clara Minor Lynn Papers, Manuscript Division, Confederate Museum, Richmond, 

08 Confederate Receipt Book, 7. 

97 Hague, Blockaded Family, 25. 

98 Frances Caldwell Higgins, "Life on a Southern Plantation," Confederate Veteran, XXI 
(1913), 162. 

99 Clay-Clopton, A Belle of the Fifties, 185. 

100 Mrs. Julia W. Bell, "My Confederate Grandmother," Confederate Veteran, XXVIII 
(1920), 366-367. 

322 The North Carolina Historical Review 

solicitude . . . [she] would count rolls" or measure the bread 
with a string, so that no one would receive more than another. 101 
By the spring of 1865 the price of flour had risen to $1,200 a 
barrel, and even at this price it was rarely obtainable. Profes- 
sional bakers continued to raise prices. In Richmond the bakers 
produced three sizes of loaves "which sold at one, two, and three 
dollars." The first was described as visible only with miscropic 
aid, "the second can be descerned with the naked eye, and the 
third can be seen with outline and shape distinct." 102 Because of 
the shortage of breadstuffs, soldiers threatened to go home and 
help their hungry families obtain bread. 103 

Substitutes had to be found for flour from which nourishing 
breadstuffs could be made. Apparently the most ingenious were 
unable to find tasty substitutes. One physician, who studied the 
problem of shortages and the indigenous plants that might re- 
lieve these shortages, concluded that "any substance that con- 
tained starch . . . may furnish materials for bread." 104 And in 
truth they did. Rice flour became very common in those areas 
where rice was grown. In one recipe book, published midway in 
the war, there were eleven recipes calling for the use of rice 
flour. 105 Rice bread frequently bore the name "Secession Bread," 106 
but, for all its merits as described by the Confederate press, one 
daring housewife who attempted to make it said that it resulted 
"only in brick-bats or sticky paste." 107 A majority of Southerners 
resorted to the use of corn meal, already a common food before 
the war. Many who ate it during the war, however, would have 
preferred wheat bread had they been able to obtain it. When the 
corn meal was bolted and sifted through a fine sifter or muslin 
cloth, it made a passable substitute for flour. 108 The editor of 
the Houston Telegraph urged his readers to use corn meal, by 
telling them that it was more patriotic to eat this domestic prod- 
uct. 109 Before the war was over, even corn meal became scarce, 
and those who earlier had scorned it were happy to get it. In 
1862 a North Carolina farmer wrote to his son: "the corn crop 

ioi p y. Pember, A Southern Woman's Story, 99. 

102 Richmond Examiner, March 29, 1865. 

103 Jones, Diary, II, 101-102. 

104 Porcher, Resources, 620. 

105 Confederate Receipt Book, 25-27. 

106 Confederate Receipe Book, Manuscript Division, Confederate Museum, Richmond, 

107 Cable, "A Woman's Diary," 769. 
10H Hague, Blockaded Family, 25. 

*» Houston Tri-Wcekly Telegraph, September 8, 1862. 

Food and Drink Shortage 323 

is wretched . . . the prospect is far worse than it's been since 
Columbus discovered America." 110 With bread so difficult to 
obtain, it was natural that the distillers should become a target 
for criticism. Just how much corn went into distilled spirits is 
not known, but corn became so scarce in certain areas that 
people went along the roads and picked up stray kernels that had 
fallen from the wagons. The children of Charles Campbell, the 
historian, picked up grains from the feeding troughs of army 
horses. These they "washed, dried and pounded" for food. 111 After 
corn meal became difficult to obtain, hominy was suggested in 
its place, but hominy, too, was scarce. 112 Rice flour, corn meal, and 
hominy were delicious by comparison with some flour substitutes. 
Pea-meal came into fairly general use, when nothing else could 
be had. It was described as having a peculiar and disagreeable 
taste, and on the whole as "very unpalatable." 113 There was also 
sorghum flour that produced a pinkish bread comparable to 
buckwheat. 114 Pumpkin bread was made by boiling a pumpkin 
in water until a thick substance was obtained, running this 
through a sieve, and then adding a little flour or meal. The 
result was "excellent bread," according to the Confederate Receipt 
Book. 115 Acorns, 116 persimmons, 117 clover, 118 and lilies 119 were 
also used in making bread. 

While meat, salt, sugar, and breadstuff s were among the foods 
most sorely missed by the people of the Confederacy, there was 
also a shortage of fresh vegetables, fruits, and condiments. Even 
in sections where fruit and vegetables were plentiful, the dis- 
tance to the needy areas, the poor transportation facilities, and 
the lack of refrigeration en route prevented proper distribution. 
Most noticeable of the scarce fruits were those produced in semi- 
tropical climates and formerly imported into the South. These 
consisted of citrus fruits, pineapples, and dates. Shut off from 
the oranges, lemons, and limes of the West Indies, the southern 

110 James Evans to James S. Evans, June 23, 1862, James S. Evans Papers, Southern 
Historical Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N. C. 

m Pry or, My Day, 204. 

112 Southern Field and Fireside, March 14, 1863, 87. 

113 Loughborough, My Cave Life in Vickesburg, 77. The main complaint against pea-meal 
was that it had to be mixed with corn-meal, and it cooked so much slower than the corn- 
meal that a part of the bread would be burned while the other was half-done. 

114 Richmond Enquirer, October 6, 1864; Wilmington Journal, October 4, 1864. 

115 Confederate Receipt Book, 5. 
118 Porcher, Resources, 621. 

117 Porcher, Resources, 424. 

118 Porcher, Resources, 204. 
ii« Porcher, Resources, 621. 

324 The North Carolina Historical Review 

people began to look toward Florida for these fruits. Although 
Florida fruits had been marketed before the war in smaller 
quantities, the blockade furnished a stimulus to fruit growing 
in this southernmost state of the Confederacy that was amazing. 
The newspapers frequently commented upon the deliciousness 
of the Florida fruit, and one young lady from Georgia pronounced 
the oranges "very good." 120 Pineapples were not grown in any 
abundance in the South, and there seemed to be no substitute 
for them. But dried persimmons were substituted for dates. 121 
When lemons were unobtainable, even from Florida, citric acid 
was used instead. 122 Common fruits, apples, peaches, and plums, 
were also scarce. Pumpkin, cut into pieces and dried in the sun, 
was suggested as a substitute for dried apples ; 123 and one recipe 
for apple pie "without apples" was circulated. 124 One paper pub- 
lished a recipe for fruit preserves "without fruit" ; it was made 
from molasses, nutmeg, and eggs. 125 The fruit shortage continued 
throughout the war, and some areas were totally without this 
popular item of diet. 

To a lesser extent than fruit, fresh vegetables were lacking. 
These could be grown in season, whereas it would take an or- 
chard several years to mature. But vegetables were by no means 
plentiful. The seed shortage prevented many from raising the 
desired quantity ; and lack of experience and preoccupation with 
other things were contributing factors to the small yield. Very 
few vegetables were for sale in the markets. At one time in 1863 
only watercress was to be found in the Richmond markets. 126 
Irish potatoes were generally scarce in most of the Confederacy, 127 
but sweet potatoes seem to have been more plentiful. 128 In an 
effort to procure some green foods in their diets, the people of 
the Confederacy ate herbs and flowers. 129 On the whole, how- 
ever, the shortage of fresh vegetables was less frequently men- 
tioned in contemporary accounts than that of bread, meat, and 

120 Andrews, Journal, 75. 

121 Hague, Blockaded Family, 102. 

122 Richmond Enquirer, June 5, 1862. 

123 Porcher, Resources, 69. 

124 Confederate Receipt Book, 7. "To one small bowl of crackers that have been soaked 
until no hard part remains, add one teaspoon of tartaric acid, sweeten to taste, add some 
butter and very little nutmeg." 

12C Wilmington Journal, November 10, 1864. 

126 Harrison, Recollections, 117. 

127 Clay-Clopton, A Bell of the Fifties, 103. 

128 Rebecca Latimer Felton, Country Life in Georgia in the Days of My Yozith, 103. 
120 p orc her, Resources, 80. 

Food and Drink Shortage 325 

Spices, pepper, flavorings, vinegar, and baking soda were 
scarce during the war. Although some spices and pepper were 
brought through the blockade and some housewives had a quan- 
tity on hand when the war began, these seasonings were among 
those items which generally disappeared early in the war. Few 
substitutes were found for these condiments. Those who had a 
sufficient supply of pepper sometimes used it instead of spice, 
but this was not very satisfactory. 130 The majority "long con- 
tented" themselves without these things. 131 Flavorings for des- 
serts were also scarce, but the cooks of the Confederacy found 
substitutes in the leaves of trees, especially fruit trees. Peach 
leaves were substituted for vanilla, 132 peach and cherry leaves 
combined made almond flavoring, and the rose taste could be 
derived from rose leaves. 133 Vinegar, too, was to be had only in 
small quantities, when at all. Recipes for making vinegar were 
among those most frequently seen in the newspapers of the 
period. Some of these are interesting because of the ingredients 
they recommended. One called for molasses and water mixed 
and permitted to stand for two months; another, in the same 
paper, suggested that an "excellent vinegar" might be made 
from blackberries, water, and molasses mixed and put in the 
sun for two weeks. 134 Beets were sometimes used as a source of 
vinegar. 135 A number of factories were established for the pur- 
pose of manufacturing vinegar. Bicarbonate of soda, used as a 
leavening agent in bread, was decidedly scarce and difficult to 
get. Ashes left after burning corncobs became widely known as 
a successful substitute. Red cobs were thought to contain more 
alkali than white ones. The ashes were gathered and water was 
added, and this was placed in jars ready for use. The ashes of 
hickory logs were used in a similar manner, and the product was 
described as "quite good." 136 

The food shortage affected the farm animals, for there was 
a continuous shortage of fodder. Work animals, cattle, sheep, 
hogs being fattened for slaughter, and dairy cattle all suffered. 

180 Clara Minor Lynn Papers, Manuscript Division, Confederate Museum, Richmond, 

131 Hopley, Life in the South, II, 276. 

132 Joseph Jacobs, "Some Drug Conditions During the War Between the States," 182. 
138 Confederate Receipt Book, 10. 

is* Wilmington Journal, July 23, 1864. 
135 Porcher, Resources, 4. 

138 Porcher, Resources, 635; Hague, Blockaded Family, 57-58; Higgins, "Life on a Southern 
Plantation," 162. 

326 The North Carolina Historical Review 

In an effort to alleviate the shortage of forage and grains, various 
grasses were grown in the hope of finding a substitute for north- 
ern hay, 137 and chinaberries were found to be a substitute for the 
decreasing corn supply. 138 Peas and peanuts were widely culti- 
vated and used as feed for swine and cattle 139 , but there was 
never enough food for the animals of the Confederacy. Those 
who owned livery stables and boarded horses were forced to raise 
their prices as feed became scarce and more costly. 140 In Rich- 
mond, in March, 1863, it cost $300 per month to board a horse. 
A single feeding was $5. 141 Many owners were forced to close 
their stables and sell their animals. Those animals kept as pets 
were at starvation's door, and their owners were distressed over 
their inability to secure food for them. One diarist observed 
that his daughter's cat had been staggering from hunger for 
several days; when it finally died several months later, all was 
grief in the household. Yet the owner admitted that its going 
was probably all for the best since it cost $200 a year to feed 
the cat. 142 Rats and mice began to disappear, both from hunger 
and from being killed for food. 143 A nurse in a Richmond hospital 
told of rats so hungry that they would drag poultices off the 
patients and eat them. 144 Animals of the Confederacy, like the 
people, were hungry. 

Beverages, like food, were scarce. Of all beverages unobtainable 
during the war, coffee was most sorely missed. Certainly the 
shortage of no other beverage was responsible for such frequent 
complaint by contemporaries. One who lived through the war 
wrote that "the coffee shortage caused more actual discomfort 
among the people at large" than did any other. 145 Coffee began 
to disappear before the summer of 1861 had passed, and it was 
rarely seen after the fall of the same year. When one woman 
had to give up coffee, she wrote that she lost her "elasticity 
of spirit." 146 Another cried "Sour Grapes" to those who vowed 
that they did not miss the universal brew. 147 But as one saw 

137 Mrs. W. E. Turner, Recollections, 2. 

ins Porcher, Resources, 643-649. 

130 Porcher, Resources, 127; Wilmington Journal, January 15, 1863. 

140 Hague, Blockaded Family, 17. 

141 Davis, Jefferson Davis, II, 529. 

142 Jones, Diary, II, 173. 

143 Jones, Diary, II, 258. 

144 Pember, Richmond During the War, 102-103. 

14G Dodge, "Domestic Economy in the Confederacy," Atlantic Monthly, LVIII, 234. 

14(1 Mrs. Judith Brockenbrough McGuire, Diary of a Southern Refugee During the War, 257. 

147 Hague, Blockaded Family, 101. 

Food and Drink Shortage 327 

apple pies without apples, one also found coffee houses where 
no coffee was served. 148 So dear did coffee become that the jewel- 
ers of Atlanta were reported to have bought all the available 
supply "for sets in breast pins instead of diamonds." 149 

There were those, however, who managed to have a little 
coffee from time to time. Some had hoarded a supply, and a small 
quantity continued to come through the blockade. Those who had 
coffee usually brewed a weak beverage and added other ingredi- 
ents to make it go farther. These blends might include parched 
corn, rye, wheat, okra seed, or chicory, 150 and the product was 
not usually satisfactory. One diarist declared that such adulter- 
ated coffee was delicious, 151 another thought it nauseating. 152 
Whenever real, unadulterated coffee did make its appearance, it 
was the signal for unrepressed glee. Sometimes it was referred 
to as "true-true" coffee, 153 and one young lady in recording the 
day's menu in her diary, underlined "real coffee" twice. 154 When 
a train carrying "blockade" coffee was wrecked near Sumter, 
South Carolina, the eager and thirsty inhabitants of the area 
rushed to the scene of the wreck and took home sacks of the 
real bean. One editor wrote that "more real coffee has been drunk 
in that neighborhood within a few days than for a long time." 155 

The civilian population attacked the problem of substitutes 
for coffee with a determination and energy unlike that exhibited 
in the search for other expedients. No other single item had more 
substitutes. The people worked at the problem unceasingly, with 
the result that "few were the substances which did not . . . find 
their way into the coffee pot." 156 Boundless was the pride of the 
housewife who discovered and put into use a substitute that 
would deceive her guests into thinking that they were drinking 
the real thing. 157 Nearly all women had their own combinations, 
but usually they shared the secret with those who were inter- 
ested. Among the most popular, and apparently most successful, 
of the substitutes for coffee was rye. This was boiled, dried, then 

148 Thomas Cooper DeLeon, Belles, Beaux, and Brains of the Sixties, 268. 

149 Southern Confederacy, January 4, 1863. 
160 McGuire, Diary, 81-82; Porcher, Resources, 273. 
^McGuire, Diary, 82. 

152 Putnam, Richmond During the War, 79-80. 

163 DeLeon, Belles, Beaux and Brains of the Sixties, 201. 

154 Susan Gordon Waddell Diary, Southern Historical Collection, University of North 
Carolina, Chapel Hill, N. C. 

155 Wilmington Journal, December 17, 1863. 

156 Dodge, "Domestic Economy in the Confederacy," Atlantic Monthly, LVIII, 234. 

157 Francis Warrington Dawson, Our Women in the War, 14. 

328 The North Carolina Historical Review 

ground like coffee. 158 A mild debate was carried on through the 
newspapers as to whether or not rye thus used was harmful to 
the body; regardless of the points made, people continued its 
use. Another substitute frequently used was okra seed. More 
expensive and troublesome than rye, 159 it was nevertheless popu- 
lar. Its proponents were convinced that it was by far the best 
substitute. 100 The okra seed were dried and parched in a similar 
manner to that used for rye. Corn, too, was used and prepared 
in a like manner, and there were those who preferred corn "coffee" 
to any other. 161 The dashing General J. E. B. Stuart was reported 
to be of this group. 102 Sweet potato "coffee" was another of the 
more popular wartime expedients. 163 Potatoes were peeled and 
cut into "chunks" about the size of coffee berries. The pieces 
were spread out in the sun to dry and parched until brown, after 
which they were ground. The grounds were mixed with water 
until a paste resulted, after which hot water was added. When 
the grounds settled to the bottom of the coffee pot, the beverage 
could be poured and drunk. The sediment was said to be among 
the best cleaning agents for carpets, curtains, and similar house- 
hold accessories. 164 Other coffee substitutes were acorns, 165 dande- 
lion roots, 166 sugar cane, 167 parched rice, 168 cotton seed, 169 sor- 
ghum molasses, 170 English peas, 171 peanuts, 172 wheat, and beans. 173 
In practically every town of any size there were those who 
chose to sell coffee mixtures and blends. The newspapers were 
filled with advertisements of these products. The following ad- 
vertisement, published in an Alabama paper, was typical of 
hundreds of others : 

My Coffee Substitute 

has been successfully introduced to the citizens of Mobile, 
Atlanta, Macon and Columbus. It is a wholesome, palatable, and 

158 Laura Elizabeth Battle, Forget-Me-Nots of the Civil War, 157; Porcher, Resources, 681; 
Southern Confederacy, February 14, 1862. 

ibg New Orleans Picayune, August 29, 1861. 

160 Hague, Blockaded Family, 102; Daily Express (Petersburg), November 18, 1861; Gay, 
Life in Dixie, 218; Porcher, Resources, 477. 

lei Porcher, Resources, 636; Jones, Diary, I, 165. 

162 A vary, A Virginia Girl in the Civil War, 248. 

163 Putnam, Richmond During the War, 79-80; Pringle, Chronicles of Chicora Wood, 196. 

164 Porcher, Resources, 438. 

165 Porcher, Resources, 614; Confederate Receipt Book, 17. 

168 Porcher, Resources, 471; New Orleans Picayune, November 14, 1861. 

167 Porcher, Resources, 661. 

168 Porcher, Resources, 669. 

169 Charleston Mercury, January 21, 1862. 

170 Daily Southern Guardian (Columbia), March 17, 1862. 

171 Bell Irwin Wiley, The Plain People of the Confederacy, 37. 

172 Porcher, Resources, 228. 

173 Putnam, Richmond During the War, 79-80. * 

Food and Drink Shortage 


nutritious drink, more nearly approaching genuine coffee flavor 
than any discovered. 174 

Free samples were usually given away to interested persons, and 
the cost was reasonable. But housewives generally seemed to 
prefer their own mixtures. 

To a lesser extent than coffee, tea was missed during the war. 
It was never as popular a drink as coffee, yet there were those 
who missed it sufficiently to search for substitutes. Most com- 
mon of the expedients was sassafras tea, a beverage long familiar 
to many, especially Negroes. 175 The leaves of blackberries, 176 rasp- 
berries, huckleberries, 177 currants, willow, sage, various vege- 
tables, 178 and the holly tree were used as tea substitutes. 179 One 
of the most famous substitutes was "yaupon tea." Long in use 
by many, it became popular in coastal regions where the yaupon 
grows in abundance. To make this tea, one used leaves and twigs, 
usually boiling them in water and adding molasses and milk. 
Fortunately for the times, it "was considered vulgar to use sugar 
for sweetening Yopon [sic]." The story is told that the same 
lady who refused to use sugar remarked that yaupon tea was so 
healthful that it had kept her "out of heaven" for years. 180 

With the exception of coffee, the beverages most often men- 
tioned as short were alcoholic stimulants. Foreign sources of 
supply were only slightly tapped during the war, but when choice 
wines, brandies, and whiskies were brought through the block- 
ade they met with immediate sale despite their tremendous cost. 
The scarcity of these beverages forced people to seek substitutes. 
Practically everything was used to produce the distilled beverage. 
One editor facetiously gave this recipe for lager beer, so sure 
was he, after tasting some of local make, that these must have 
been the component parts : 

Take an old bootleg, and an old cast-off red flannel shirt, and 
put in five gallons of rainwater. Let it stand for two weeks and 
ferment well. Then put it into a ten gallon keg, adding two 
quarts of china berries, three gallons of water from a tub used by 

174 Montgomery Daily Advertiser, March 5, 1864. 

175 Loughborough, My Cave Life in Vickesburg, 103; Higgins, "Life on a Southern Planta- 
tion," 168. 

176 Richmond Whig, October 17, 1862; Daily Rebel (Chattanooga), October 31, 1862. 

177 Hague, Blockaded Family, 102. 

178 Putnam, Richmond During the War, 80. 

179 Hague, Blockaded Family, 102. 

180 Moore, Rebellion Record, II, 103, quoting the Raleigh Standard. 

330 The North Carolina Historical Review 

shoemakers to soak leather in (three months old) . . . and one 
pound of assaf oedita. Let it stand for one week and add a couple 
of Florida beans. 181 

Brandy made during the war was so dangerous to drink that it 
was said that the life insurance companies refused to insure the 
life of an individual who was in the habit of taking occasional 
drinks. 182 It was said that the whiskey "cauterizes the mucous 
membrane of the windpipe; sets the brain on fire, and sends a 
cold tremor through the system. The soldier who indulges in a 
half dozen nips is likely to stay drunk for a week ; and the second 
or third application drives the breath out of the body." 183 

It is interesting to note just what did go into these beverages. 
Whiskey, one of the most popular of the alcoholic drinks and 
one of the most profitable to make, was distilled from anything 
and everything. Regardless of the content, all whiskey found im- 
mediate sale. The Richmond Examiner said that of the enter- 
prises stimulated by the war, "the manufacture and sale of 
whiskey" took the lead. Whiskey was sold "in back rooms of 
family grocers and confectionary shops . . . and in the more 
reputable establishments of trade." 184 "Moonshiners" did a good 
business, "running day and night, . . . finding ready sale for all 
they produced." 185 Despite rigid state legislation against the use 
of grain, a large amount went into whiskey. Most of this whiskey 
was made from corn or other grains, but it was also distilled from 
sweet potatoes, 186 rice, 187 sorghum seed, 188 and persimmons. 189 
The descriptions given most of these whiskies ran from a mere 
"unpalatable" 190 to "vile," 191 but they all agreed on the effect. 
One person summed up the matter as follows: "They seem to 
fly through the system with alacrity." 192 Beer, too, was made 
from varying and interesting substitutes. Frequently molasses 
and water with a little ginger, plus yeast, when it could be found, 
were brewed together and called "Confederate Beer." Corn 193 

181 Natchez Daily Courier, April 15, 1863. 

182 Natchez Daily Courier, April 15, 1863. 
v* Southern Cultivator, XX (1862), 115. 
Wi Richmond Examiner, January 27, 1862. 

186 Joseph Jacobs, "Some Drug Conditions During the War Between the States," Southern 
Historical Society Papers, XXXIII (1905), 166. 

186 Wilmington Journal, February 12, 1863. 

187 Charleston Mercury, February 16, 1863. 

188 Official Records, Series IV, III, 712. 

180 Southern Confederacy, December 14, 1862. 

190 E. Philips to James J. Philips, March 27, 1864, James J. Philips Papers, Southern 
Historical Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N. C. 
1OT Hopley, Life in the South, II, 198. 
1M Charleston Mercury, February 16, 1863. 
103 Porcher, Resources, 635-636. 

Food and Drink Shortage 331 

and persimmons 194 were also used, and the product of the latter 
was referred to as "possum beer." 105 For hops, which were very 
scarce, peach leaves were used extensively. 190 But the beer that 
resulted caused one editor to scream, " 'Mein Got,' our German 
friends must raise the blockade." 197 Since palatable wines and 
brandies could be made from fruits, the results were much more 
satisfactory than in the case of whiskey and beer. Brandies, 
liqueurs, and wines were made from blackberries, 198 apples, 199 
peaches, 200 plums, 201 watermelon juice, 202 elder-berries, 203 and 
carrots. 204 In Alabama brandy was made from the sweet potato; 
the product was described as the worst of all "liquified lighten- 
ing." 205 Apparently only the most brazen attempted to call any 
of the wartime brews "champagne." But one amateur distiller 
made what he called champagne from three parts of water and 
one part corn, with enough molasses added to sweeten it properly. 
It was totally without effervescence, the name being the only 
thing that bore a resemblance to real champagne. 200 In Savannah, 
Georgia, juniper berries and whiskey blended together was sold 
for "imported Holland gin." 207 Certainly the alcoholic stimulants 
sold during the Civil War were among the most unique ever 
made. Although the poet, William Gilmore Simms, found his brew 
of persimmon beer "equalled to the best sparkling 'Jersey cham- 
pagne,' " 208 most people failed to find such satisfaction in the 
domestic products. 

Milk, too, was scarce in many parts of the Confederacy. One 
prominent lady recorded in her diary that her household "had 
not had milk more than twice in eighteen months, and then it 
was sent by a . . . friend." 209 When milk could be obtained, it 
was usually adulterated so that a little might go farther. It was 

184 Porcher, Resources, 425. 

185 Gordon, "Hard Times in the Confederacy," 766. 

188 Gordon, "Hard Times in the Confederacy," 200; Arkansas State Gazette (Little Rock), 
July 19, 1862. 

187 Richmond Enquirer, August 3, 1861. 

188 Porcher, Resources, 169. 

188 Jones, A Rebel War-Clerk's Diary, II, 336; Handy, "Confederate Makeshifts," Harper's 
Monthly Magazine, LII (1876), 578. 

200 Handy, "Confederate Makeshifts," Harper's Monthly Magazine, LII (1876), 578. 

201 Richmond Whig, June 14, 1864; Charleston Mercury, July 23, 1864. 

202 Porcher, Resources, 68. 

203 Porcher, Resources, 449. 

204 Porcher, Resources, 48-49. 

205 Mercer Otey, "Story of our Great War," Confederate Veteran, IX (1901), 154. 

206 Mercer Otey, "Operations of the Signal Corps," Confederate Veteran, VIII (1900), 129. 

207 E. Philips to James J. Philips, March 27, 1864, James J. Philips Papers, Southern 
Historical Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N. C. 

208 Porcher, Resources, 425. 
^McGuire, Diary, 324. 

332 The North Carolina Historical Review 

sometimes mixed with water, 210 and at other times it was mixed 
with ground corn. 211 When cream was not available to use in 
coffee or tea, beaten eggwhites were sometimes used. 212 

Even water of a drinkable quality was not always available 
in the Confederacy. One of the chief complaints of the people of 
besieged Vicksburg was that they had only the muddy water 
of the Mississippi River to drink. 213 The best hostesses of Rich- 
mond were sometimes forced to offer their guests water from 
the James River, ''which was often thick enough and red 
enough" to pass as "something more nourishing." 214 Recognizing 
that such situations existed in the South, the Confederate 
Receipt Book published a formula for purifying muddy water. 215 

The severity of the food and beverage shortage caused institu- 
tions responsible for feeding large groups of people untold con- 
fusion. Practically all colleges and boarding schools left the board 
charges unannounced until the opening of school. Some schools 
imposed penalties on all who left any food on their plates, 216 
while from Porcher's School in South Carolina the son of former 
Governor Allston wrote that nothing but squash and hominy was 
to be had for months at a time. 217 Elizabeth Allston, daughter 
of the former governor of South Carolina, wrote that the fare 
went from bad to worse at Madame Togno's School in Columbia. 
For tea the students had only corn dodgers and water, and they 
finally ceased going to supper. 218 Boarding houses, too, faced 
difficult problems. They rationed their food among the boarders 
so that all might be assured of a fair portion of the scanty fare. 219 
Hotels found it necessary to go on the European plan because of 
the food shortage. 220 In crowded houses, where one cook might 
serve several families, there was a constant difficulty in keeping 
provisions separate. Coffee proved the easiest to isolate for "each 
house-wife had her own particular concoction." 221 

210 W. D. Pender to Mrs. W. D. Pender, October 1, 1861, W. D. Pender Papers, Southern 
Historical Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N. C. 

211 Pryor, My Day, 264. 

215 Confederate Receipt Book, 17. 

213 Loughborough, Cave Life in Vickesburg, 104. 

214 Clara Minor Lynn Papers, Manuscript Division, Confederate Museum, Richmond, 

215 Confederate Receipt Book, 19. "Dissolve half an ounce of alum in a pint of water, and 
stirring it about in a puncheon of water from the river, all the impurities will soon settle 
to the bottom, and in a day or two it will become quite clear." 

210 Dodge, "Domestic Economy in the Confederacy," Atlantic Monthly, LVIII, 240. 

217 Pringle, Chronicles of Chicora Wood, 193-194. 

218 Pringle, Chronicles of Chicora Wood, 178. 
2io Wright, A Southern Girl in '61, 176. 

220 Avary, A Virginia Girl in the Civil War, 349. 

221 Clara Minor Lynn Papers, Manuscript Division, Confederate Museum, Richmond, 

Food and Drink Shortage 333 

Despite grave shortages of food, people could still make light 
of their hardships. While there were food riots in various cities, 
this was not usual. Most of the civilians approached the problem 
with a better sense of humor. Some reported that they ate green 
persimmons to shrink their stomachs; 222 a newspaper editor 
wrote that the people of the Confederacy should laugh, for laugh- 
ter would make them fat. He added : "With the prevailing scarcity 
of provisions — 'laugh' is about the cheapest thing they can fat- 
ten on this spring, and we would not be surprised if they did not 
raise the price of that." 223 No group in the Confederacy suffered 
from the lack of food more than did the inhabitants of Vicksburg 
during the siege. Yet they could laugh at their troubles. When 
the Federal army took the town, a soldier found the following 

Hotel de Vicksburg, Jeff Davis Co., proprietors — 

Soup : mule tail 

Boiled : Mule Bacon with Polk Greens 

Roast: Saddle of Mule a la teamster 

Entrees: Mule head stuffed, Reb fashion; Mule Beef, jerk a 
la Yankee ; Mule liver, hashed a la explosion. 

Dessert: Cotton berry pie, en Ironclad, Chinaberry tart. 

Liquors: Mississippi Water, vintage 1492, very inferior, $3. 
Limestone water, late importation, very fine. Extra (black 
seal) Vicksburg bottled-up — $4. Meals at Few Hours, 
Gentlemen to wait on themselves. Any inattention in service 
to be reported at the office. 

Jeff. Davis and Comp., Props. 224 

Because of the scarcity of food and drink, refreshments at 
social gatherings were very simple. "Starvation Parties" were 
popular during the war. These were simple affairs where good 
fellowship and water were the only things to be had. Occasionally 
all would contribute money and hire a fiddler so that there might 
be dancing ; but refreshments were "strictly forbidden." 225 Often 
in the family circle, after a scant meal, conversation would turn 
toward the tasty dishes enjoyed in bygone days. 226 One lady tells 
how she always kept a recipe book on her mantle, and when such 

222 Clay-Clopton, A Belle of the Fifties, 179. 

223 Daily Rebel (Chattanooga), March 3, 1863. 

224 DeLeon, Belles, Beaux and Brains of the Sixties, 274. A menu in a slightly varied form 
was published in the Richmond Examiner, August 25, 1863. See also Rebellion Records, VII, 

225 Chestnut, Diary, 250, 260, 270; DeLeon, Belles, Beaux and Brains of the Sixties, 396. 

226 Putnam, Richmond During the War, 315; Jones, Diary, II, 336. 

334 The North Carolina Historical Review 

conversation started, she read a recipe for a rich pudding or 
cream. She admitted that it failed to satisfy the appetite, but it 
was "as good for the digestion." 227 

Hunger was the rule in the Confederacy. While a very few had 
bounteous plenty and some had a sufficiency, there were many 
who daily felt the pangs of hunger. While the Confederate army 
fought the Union army on the battlefield, housewives fought 
another enemy, hunger, in their homes. Recognizing the presence 
of this second enemy, the newspapers and periodicals spread war- 
time recipes and the discovery of expedients throughout the land. 
With the cooperation of the press and the women mass starva- 
tion was averted, but hunger was never completely alleviated. 

227Chesnut, Diary, 376. 


Edited by William S. Powell 

The combination diary and cashbook of Joseph Gales for 1794 
and 1795, 1 aside from the fact that it is the record of a brief 
but stormy period in the career of one of early America's out- 
standing journalists, is of interest for its very detailed account 
of an Englishman's preparations for a voyage to America and 
the subsequent voyage itself. Its minutiae reveal the cost of such 
an undertaking during the last years of the eighteenth century, 
the vagrancies of the ship at sea, and the details of daily life 
with which the traveller occupied himself. 

Joseph Gales (1761-1841), printer, journalist, and reformer, 
was born at Eckington near Sheffield, England, and at the age 
of thirteen was apprenticed to a Manchester printer in whose 
home he soon was mistreated. Young Gales returned to Ecking- 
ton and shortly afterwards began work with a printer in 
Newark-on-Trent where he became a master printer and binder. 
While there he met Winifred Marshall, a novelist and student of 
the classics, whom he married on May 4, 1784. 2 Soon thereafter 
Gales set up his own printing and publishing establishment in 
Sheffield and in June, 1787, began publication of the Sheffield 
Register, a weekly. 3 

Gales' newspaper was noted for its liberal tone and its pleas 
on behalf of labor. As editor he paid tribute to the French Revo- 
lutionists and not only sold thousands of copies of Rights of Man, 
but also befriended its author, Thomas Paine. He favored the 
abolition of slavery and of imprisonment for debt, universal 
manhood suffrage, and the reform of the English judicial system. 

1 This manuscript, in an octavo notebook of twenty-four leaves, is in the diary collection 
of the North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh. Its provenance i8 
unknown. Twenty-six pages are devoted to a cashbook with debit and credit entries on 
separate pages; the volume, when inverted and opened the opposite way, contains a diary 
of twenty-two pages with one or more pages in the beginning missing. Thin leaves of 
blotting paper are bound in the volume between most of the leaves. The upper portion of a 
fleur-de-lis watermark can be seen in the blotting paper, while a portion of a large oval 
watermark and the initials "G R" appear in the notepaper. Both papers have chain lines, 
though they run in opposite directions as the volume is constructed. No trace of any sort 
of binding is discernible. All entries are in ink. 

8 William E. Smith, "Joseph Gales," in Dictionary of American Biography (New York, 
1943), VII, 99. 

3 R. S. Crane and F. B. Kaye, A Census of British Newspapers and Periodicals, 1620-1800, 
(Chapel Hill, 1927), 169. 

[335 ] 

336 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Severe criticism of the Pitt government caused Gales to be con- 
demned by that government and ordered to be arrested. With 
the suspension of the writ of habaes corpus he fled to the 
Continent. 4 His cashbook under date of May, 1794, indicates 
that he spent £42 "in his Journey to London from thence to 
Holland and afterwards to Hamburgh in 15 weeks." 

By September Gales had settled in Altona, Schleswig-Holstein, 
not far from Hamburg. In 1794 5 Winifred Gales sold the 
Sheffield Register and James Montgomery, the poet, who had 
been clerk, bookkeeper, and contributor to the paper since 1792 
became its editor. 6 She and the four children, Joseph, Sarah, 
Thomas, and Winifred, then joined Gales in Germany. 

The diary of Joseph Gales covers the period between Septem- 
ber 24, 1794, and July 30, 1795, when he arrived in Philadelphia, 
while the cashbook contains entries made between May, 1794, 
and December 26, 1795. What the first page or pages of the 
diary, now missing, would reveal is, of course, impossible to 
know. The first page now remaining presents Gales and his 
family aboard ship leaving Germany. Cashbook entries show 
that early in September one Captain MacPherson had been paid 
£52-10-0 for their passage aboard the Jean. 

Diary of Joseph Gales 

The sa[me] Night 7 about ten o'Clock C[apt.] Macpherson 8 
and another [man] arrived, and the next Day in the [morn?]ing 
we made Way as far as Luckstadt. On the Thursd[ay] 
M[orn]ing, about four o' Clock the Wind being S.W. we again 
made Way and sailed on to Sea with the same Wind and mod- 
erate Weather: but, after we had sailed about 16 or 18 Miles 
to Sea, the W[ind] changed to N.W. blew very hard and looked 

4 Smith, D.A.B., VII, 99-100; Guion G. Johnson, Ante-Bellum North Carolina (Chapel 
Hill, 1937), 765-766. Gales' wife in a letter to Jared Sparks, October 16, 1821 (North 
Carolina Department of Archives and History, photostat) referred to Germany as "the 
Country where we first sought an asylum from the oppression of a corrupt administration 
. . . our voluntary exile, if that can be called voluntary, which was forced upon us by the 
tyrannical proceedings against those Editors of Newspapers who advocated the cause of 

5 Probably late in July or early in August, as the first entry in the cashbook for August 
shows, £28-7-0 "expended by Wife in purchasing Cloaths & other Necessaries at Sheffd. 
previous to her setting out from thence." 

6 Richard Garnett, "James Montgomery," in Dictionary of National Biography (London, 
1894), XXXVIII, 318. Montgomery was imprisoned for libel in 1795 and again the following 
year, but continued to edit the paper until 1825 when he sold it. Winifred Gales in a 
letter to Jared Sparks (North Carolina Department of Archives and History, photostat) on 
January 24, 1828, reported that Gales sisters acquired the book-selling business at the time 
Montgomery took over the printing establishment. 

7 September 24, 1794. 

8 The debit page of Gales' cashbook under date of September 28, 1794, records £31-10-0 
received of "Mesrs Parrish & Co on acct of Captn Macpherson of my passage money." The 
sum of £10-2-0 was received on the same date "of W. Van Kennel for a pr Blankets on 
leaving the Jean." 

The Diary of Joseph Gales 337 

very black, so that the Captain thought it prudent to return into 
the Elbe to anchor. [Dur]ing the Night, the Wind blew excess- 
ively hard, and caused a very high [sea?] so much that the 
Captain [was n]ot without Apprehensions for [the] Anchor, 
though a very good one. [The] next Day, the Weather continuing 
stormy, and the Wind contrary, we weighed Anchor, and re- 
turned to Crookshaven, where we passed another very stormy 
Night: and not thinking himself yet safe, the Ship returned to 
Luckstadt, which place we reached on Saturday a[t] [d] inner- 

Whilst we were out at Sea my Wife was very sick and was 
sure she sh d . not be able to endure the voyage (so were all except 
Joseph & Winifred) and when orders were given to return into 
the River, on Ace*, of the stormy Weather and contrary Wind, 
as considering that we could now reckon upon little more than 
six Weeks [of] my Wife's Pregnancy, we determine [d] to give 
up the Voyage for the present and return to Altona for the 
Winter. But on informing the Captain of our Intention he 
insisted upon a Forfeiture of 25 Guineas. This was thought an 
exorbitant Sum; but a[s] my Wife had said she was sure she 
could not endure the Voyage, I determined at any rate to leave 
the Ship, and on my dwelling upon the Hardness of my Case to 
the Captain, he, at length, agreed to take 20 Guineas. — The 
Wind remaining contrary and the Wea [ther] very boisterous, we 
left the S[hip] on Sunday about Noon [in a] Boat, for which 
we [were forced to] pay six Dollars 9 (for the Pilots [thrive?] 
upon the distresses of persons upon the Water) . — After having 
left the Ship a little way, we discovered that a small Box was 
left behind containing Child bed Linen; but the Weather was 
so rough that we could not return, so that to get this Box, though 
a Pilot boat had to go past the Ship, cost us seven Marks. 10 

We arrived safely at Altona on Sunday evening about six 
o'Clock & after remaining two Days at M r . [Stain] metz's, 11 went 
into a furnished [apartment?] of M r . Pinkures, for which we 
[agreed?] to pay him ten Dollars per . . . . 12 

On the 17th of November, about eig[ht] o'Clock in the 
Evening, after having been very unwell from the Time of enter- 
ing into our new Habitation my Wife was safely delivered of a 
Daughter. 13 (We afterwards learnt that the Jane \_sic\ did not 
arrive in Philadelphia till the 2 d of Dec.) So weak was she that 
It was six Weeks before she was able to come down Stairs, and 

9 The cashbook indicates that Gales spent £1-4-0 on September 28 "to a Pilot Boat to 
convey us from on Board the Jean from Luckstadt to Altona." 

10 This sum was entered in the cashbook on the first day of October as 9/. Gales' use 
of dollars, pounds, and marks was not consistent even in his cashbook entries. 

11 For these two days Gales paid 15/4. 

12 Illegible. On October 1 £1-18-0 was paid "for the use of Mr. Pinkres's [sic] Rooms & 
Furn during the month of Oct." Gales' rent, according to his cashbook, was always paid 
in advance. 

13 Altona, who married the Rev. Anthony Forster. She figures prominently in the letters of 
Winifred Gales. (North Carolina Department of Archives and History, photostats) Altona 
died in 1827. Raleigh Register and North Carolina Gazette, November 23, 1827. It is 
interesting to note that another of the Gales children, Weston Raleigh Gales, bore the name 
of the city of his birth. 

338 The North Carolina Historical Review 

when she did come down, she was seized with a Kind of Kramp 
at her Stomach which continuing for a Week, we were obliged 
to call in a Physician, who was so skilful as to remove the Pain 
immediately. He paid three Visits in his Coach & only charged 5/. 

From this Time all was well except my Apprentice John 
Clayton, 14 who seemed to decline in his Health daily, apparently 
a Consumptive, and my Wife the third [or fo]urth Time of her 
walking out after she returned complained of her great Toe 
paining her. We took little Notice of it for several Days but as it 
grew worse, a Poultice was put upon it, and getting no better, 
we called in a Surgeon who attended it sometimes daily, and 
sometimes omitting a Day until the Time of our quitting Altona, 
a Period of about 8 Weeks, for which he charged only 12/. 15 

Considering that we were in a Country perfectly strange to 
us, and that we were in other Respects uncomfortably situated 
the Time passed as agreeably as we could expect. 16 We became 
acquainted with M r . Haustein, who had served the Elector of 
Hanover, as a Soldier 20 years (9 of which were passed at 
Gibralter in the War against Spain where he learnt the English 
Language) but who was now an agent to the King of Denmark's 
Lotteries. This M r . Haustein appeared studious [to] oblige us in 
every little thing which lay in his Power. Indeed the Friendly 
attention which he paid to us, created in me a very sincere 
Friendship for him, as I believed him to be an upright, honest 

The Winter was excessively cold, & the Frost was so severe 
that the River Elbe was frozen up for 16 Weeks, so that for all 
this Time we rec d . no Letter or Information from England. 17 
When we did hear which was about the [blank] of March, our 
Friends expressed their Hopes and Wishes for our Return to 
England. I therefore expressed by Letter my Willingness to 
return to my native Land, if it were thought by my Frd s . to be 
safe and eligible. A Meeting was therefore held by my Frd s . at 
Sheffield to consult upon the Eligibility and Safety of this Step, 
when it was concluded that it was not safe for me to return to 
England whilst the Suspension of the Heabeas Corpus Act was 
continued, or the System of Persecution for political Practices 
continued. Therefore my affairs not being yet brought to a 

14 Referred to as Jack. See below page 339. 

15 Mrs. Gales later recalled in glowing terms of praise the very kind treatment which 
she received at the hands of her German nurse at this time. She also has recorded that 
when the physician who treated her toe made known his charges she asked, through an 
interpreter, if he had not forgotten how many times he had treated her. His answer was, 
she recalled in later years, "I remember the Lady is a stranger, and in a strange Land, 
and has many dear little children." Winifred Gales to Jared Sparks, October 16, 1821 (North 
Carolina Department of Archives and History, photostat). 

16 Entries in his cashbook during the period of his residence in Altona show how much at 
home Gales really was. The family had rented an apartment and regular expenditures for 
fuel and other household expenses are recorded and a few items of furniture were purchased. 
Young Joseph was enrolled in a school whose tuition rates were four marks a Quarter. In 
May, just prior to leaving Germany, Gales had some books bound. Earlier he had bought 
a map of Europe and frequent expenditures for shoes and shoe repairing for the children 
suggest a very active group of youngsters. 

17 By the end of March, however, this situation was changed. The cashbook records that 
Gales spent 8/6 on the last day of the month "for Freight of a Box from England, &c." 
On April 18 he received a gift of £5-5-0 from his sisters. 

The Diary of Joseph Gales 339 

Sett*, at Sheffield, and finding by my Letter, that by passing an 
Expensive Winter at Altona my Stock of Money was run low, 
it was agreed to raise me a Sum of Money, partly as a Gift, and 
partly as a Loan. This was done and after an uncertain suspense 
of many Months, on the 23 of May I reed, a Letter from Rob*. 
Hadfields of Sheffield (to whom I had written as my sincere & 
confidential Friend) inclosing a Bill for 70 £ 18 partly as a Gift 
and partly as a Loan from my Friends with an Intimation that 
it was intended to raise me farther, a Loan from one to 300 £ 
and that if I chose to order my Type &c. as I had proposed, from 
London, they would pay for it. 

Thus set at Liberty from our Suspense and Difficulties, I im- 
mediately looked out for a Ship bound for New York or Phila- 
delphia, and found the Charles & Henry, Capt. Slade, ready to 
sail for Philadelphia as soon as the Wind favoured him; 19 I 
therefore (accompanied by M r . Joel Barlow, who was then [in] 
Altona, 20 and from whom & M rs . Barlow, we rec d . many Civili- 
ties) engaged our Passage with Capt Slade for 60 Guineas — 
to be accommodated with every Necessary on the Voyage in his 
Cabbin. 21 

The Wind appearing likely to change, on Friday the 29th the 
Capt. gave us Notice to be on Board the next Morning, 22 which 
by sitting up most of the Night to pack and prepare for our 
Voyage we effected. The Wind did not get to the East before 
Monday [June 1, 1795], on which Day, about two o'Clock in 
the afternoon we set sail with most delightful Weather, and 
next Day about the same Hour got out to Sea. 

When we came on Board little Thomas & Sarah were some- 
what indisposed (Thomas had been so all the Spring) and on 
the 2 d . Day my Wife was seized with a severe Fever, and lay in 
Bed for most of two Days. On the 3 d . Day however, she seems 23 
recovered, her Lips break out, and has been scarcely sick at all. 
Sarah continues poorly, but Thomas is better. Myself, Sarah & 
Thomas have been a little Sea Sick. The Wind & Weather con- 
tinues favourable & we sail from 3 to 5 Knots an Hour. 

I should have mentioned that Jack [John Clayton, his ap- 
prentice] contrived to get weaker & weaker, from Day to Day, 

18 Gales, of course was obliged to exchange this for German currency and received the 
equivalent of £66-18-9. The difference, it is presumed, was the exchange charge. 

19 On May 28, 1795, he paid for the passage of himself and his family "60 Guineas (which 
reckoning a Guinea at 16-8 is) [£] 66." 

20 Barlow, a native of Connecticut, had been in Europe since 1788 and like Gales had 
been on friendly terms with Thomas Paine. It was he who saw The Age of Reason through 
the press when Paine was imprisoned. Barlow was very influential in France and quite 
wealthy. In October, 1795, he was appointed United States Consul to Algiers. Theodore A. 
Zunder and Stanley T. Williams, "Joel Barlow," in Dictionary of American Biography 
(New York, 1943), I, 609-613. American State Papers (Washington, 1832), I ("Foreign 
Relations," I), 723. 

21 Among the supplies purchased for the voyage, however, were wine, liquors, Neat's 
tongue, raisins, currants, sugar, a flask, cellar and glasses, swieback, egg3, a coffee mill, 
and "other small Provns." 

22 For the hire of a wagon and boat to get his family and goods aboard the Charles and 
Henry, Gales paid 10/. 

23 This change of tense would indicate that Gales wrote the preceding account prior to 
this date — June 3, 1795 — probably while aboard ship waiting for a favorable wind. Subse- 
quent entries seem to have been made daily. 

340 The North Carolina Historical Review 

and himself thinking that were he to return to England, his 
native Air would recover him, I paid his Passage back by a Ship 
to Hull, Capt. Brandt, Master, and put two Guineas into his 
Pocket. The Ship sailed at the same Time with us. 24 

June 5 Wind yet fair & fine Weather & sail from 3 to 5 

6 Wind fair & brisk gale, sail from 5 to 7% Knots. 

7 Wind fair but not so brisk & tow ds Evening the 
Hemisp grew thick & the Wind calm, but about ten 
in the Eveng a gale of Wind came on which blew 
most of the Night. — about 11 A.M. we made 
Shetland, and lost Sight of them about five. 

8 Wind fair & brisk, sail from 4 to 6 Knots — about 4 
P.M. saw two Pieces of Land, one a small Rock, and 
kept to the North to miss them. 

9 Wind fair, but very slender, in the Afternoon quite 
calm; about ten oClock a west Wind came on; but 
towards Morng it blew more to the North, so that the 
Ship lay her Course and sailed from 3 to 5 Knots. 

10 Fine East Wind — sailed from five to seven Knots — 
clear of European Land. 

11 Wind still fair, but not strong. 

12 The same. 

13 Wind fair but slender, not more than two Knots. 

Sunday 14 Wind fair & freshens — to about four Knots. 

15 Wind fair but slender. 

16 The same, but freshens tow ds . Eveng. 

17 Wind good, 4 and 5 Knots. 

18, 19 Wind fair, but slender, sometimes quite calm. 
20 Wind very strong & mostly a-head; in the Night it 
blew quite a gale. 

Sunday 21 At five in the Morng. the Vessel lay to in a gale which 
cont d . till two: and it afterwards remained squally, 
blowing very hard mostly a-head. 

22 Still blowing hard & squally — the Wind in all Quar- 

23 Moderate. At 8 oClock spoke the Mercury, Capt. Mar- 
shall from Philadelphia, 32 Days having had nothing 
but rainy & blowing Weather. He had lost his Top- 
mast. He was bound for Hambro'. In the Evening 
the Wind blew stronger and more ahead and during 
the Night we had a perfect gale of Wind in which the 
Ship laid to most of the Night. 

24 The Wind cont' 1 . to blow fresh, but more aft, and we 
had a fine Run of from 6V> to 5 Knots an Hour. 

21 Gales also purchased a pair of shoes for his apprentice. The latter's fare to England 
was £1-11-6. 

The Diary of Joseph Gales 341 

25 The Wind yet fresh, but rather a-head — sailed from 

3 to 4 Knots. 

26 The Wind not quite so fresh — sailed about 4% 

27 The wind the same, but grows light — 3 and 4 Knots. 
Sunday 28 (Eck s . Feast) 25 In the Morning very light Wind, but 

tow ds . Noon entirely calm, which cont d . till eleven 
oClock at Night, when a very light Breeze sprung 
from the South- West and the Vessell having been 
carried somewhat too far to the South by the last 
Wind, it was shifted to the other Tack, and steered 
West in order to cross the Bank of Newfoundland. 
In Honor of Eck s . F. Wife made all Hands P. Pud- 
ding & Punch. 
June 29 Light Breeze from South- West which freshened to 

4 Knots & then dwindled away to 1. 
30 Very light Breeze from same Quarter. 

July 1 Very light Wind — at 3 P.M. spoke the Iphigenia 

from N. York 16 Days bound to Bourdeaux. 

2 Wind freshened sailed from 4 to 6 Knots — a little 

3 Wind still fresh from 6% to 4 in the Forenoon — 
about one oClock calm but afterwards it blew very 
fresh from the SW. so that we were obliged to take in 
Sail. It blew hard all Night — a little Rain. 

4 Wind fresh till Noon, then died away to calm about 
six in the Eveng the Wind sprung from the N and 
blew fresh all Night. 

Sunday July 5 Wind fresh from N by E we sail from 6 to 4 

6 Wind still fair & fine Weather. Sail about 4 Knots 

7 Wind fair & stout till Noon, then changed to S. and 
produced a thick Fog — sailed about 3 Knots. 

July 8 Fog continues & Wind the same till about 3 P.M. 

when the Fog cleared & the Wind changed to S.W. 
and blew pretty strong. 
9 Little Wind quite a-head W. 

10 The same. 

11 Fine Weather and brisk Breeze from W.S.W. which 
takes us three Points from our Course of W by S. 
At 3 P.M. Wind changed to N. and blew strongly for 
a few Hours. 

Sunday July 12 Almost calm — about 10 A.M. a small Breeze 
from N.E. with Rain. At Midday saw a Sail going to 
the East, which came within about a League of us. 
The Breeze freshened tow ds . Eveng. 

25 The term "feast" was often applied to an ordinary birthday celebration and this note 
on "Ecks. Feast" may have referred to the birthday celebration of John Eckstein, German 
painter, sculptor, and engraver, who is known to have settled in Philadelphia in 1794. 
Dictionary of American Biography (New York, 1931), VI, 5. 

342 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Monday July 13 Fine Breeze from E. all Day, went from 6 to 
4 Knots. 
14 Fresh Breezes from S.E. Saw a ship bearing North, 
which passed us at about 2 Leagues distance. Ab*. 10 
A.M. Rain came on and the Wind shifted 2 or 3 Points 
diff*. Ways and sometimes blew hard. At five the Wind 
shifted right a-head, viz W. during the Night it be- 
came more favourable so that the Vessel lay her 

July 15 The Wind still about N.W. but the Sea running high, 
made little Progress. At Night the Wind fell away 
and the Vessel made no Progress till 

16 Eight in the Morng. a light Breeze sprung from the 
S.E. which cont d . to strengthen till Evening, when it 
blew almost a gale and rained considerably. The 
Capt n . supposed himself from the black appearance 
of the Weather, and the Roughness of the Sea, to be 
in the Gulph Stream, and steered W by N. to avoid it. 

17 The Weather clearer and Wind, which had been 
strong all Night cont d . brisk at E. Saw a Sail at 5 
A.M. Standg North. In the afternoon the Wind conted 
northerly & died away. The Night wholly calm. 

18 At five A.M. a light Breeze sprung from the E. but 
kept veering round to the South and from Hence to 
the North till it came to N.E. at 6 P.M. when we 
wore Ship, and stood upon the other Tack. 

Sunday July 19 The Wind a head, made but little advance. At 
6 A.M. saw a Brig apparently from an American 
Port bound to the West Indies. At 5 P.M. saw a 
Schooner in the S.E. which bearing towards us all 
took for a Pilot Boat & we accordingly put the Sails 
a-back to wait for her ; but, to our great Surprize, on 
her nearer approach we espied a Man at the Masthead 
and Eng. Colours hoisted. She was then thought to be 
what she proved, a Privateer. She hailed us, and sent 
a Boat on Board with the 2 d . Lieut. & a Prize Master, 
who, after the ord y . Salutations, demanded to see 
the Cap tns . Papers. He shewed them, and afterw d9 . 
went on B d . with them to the Cap tn of the Schooner, 
where he remained for more than an Hour, during 
which Time the Lieut. & Prize Master remained with 
us making every Enquiry they could. When our Capt n . 
ret d . the Cap*, of the Schooner came with him, and 
desired to see his Letters, which our Capt n . hesitating 
to give up (having a great N°. on B d ) the Hero of the 
Privateer positively demanded. The Lieut. & he, how- 
ever, not being very apt at reading, about half a 
Doz n . Letters were all they opened — to get at which 
they broke open the Hamb. Post-office Seals. — About 
Midnight, the Priv. Officers returned to their Schoon- 

The Diary of Joseph Gales 343 

er purposing to see us the next Day. The Schooner 
was named the Thetis Cap*. Hudgion. They tell us we 
are more than 300 miles from shore, which is 200 
more than we expected. 

July 20 Wind yet a-head, being W. and rather foggy. We saw 
the Schooner Thetis about 3 P.M. apparently in Pur- 
suit of a Brig standing to the South. 
21 Morning calm & warm. Forenoon much Thunder & 
Lightning. At Noon a Storm of Rain, after which the 
Wind came from the East, and gave us a good Run 
till Midnight, of from 5 to 7 Miles per Hour. At 5 
P.M. spoke the Brig Betsey, from Savannah to 
Boston, who confirmed that w ch the Privater had 
given us of our longitude. At 8 oClock this Morning, 
we struck Soundings, for the first Time, in 80 Fath- 
oms Water. We tried for Fish, but without Effect. 
Saw 2 or 3 other Vessels to the North at a Distance. 

July 22 Wind again from the Westward, but changeable a 
few Points. In the Afternoon it became foggy and 
in the Night rained very fast. 

23 Very light Wind from the East but the Rain & Fog 
having raised a high Sea, we made no advance with 
it. The wind increased, and we made a good Run for 
a few Hours, but a Calm came on in the Night. 

24 Morning foggy and calm, which continued for most 
of the Day, with some Rain, & a small variable Wind 
at different Times. At Ten a Breeze sprung up, with 
which the Vessell just lay her Course — this cont d . 
tho' at Times very smal [1] , during the Night. 

25 A small, but fair Breeze, which in the afternoon 
freshened. Saw a Vessell steering the Northward, 
apparently from the W. Indies, but did not speak her 
though very near. 

Sunday July 25 Wind continues fair and Weather fine. At 6 
P.M. we sounded in 25 Fathom Water. The Wind died 
away about ten and it was calm all the Night. At 
Midnight 20 Fathom Water. 

July 27 A fine clear Morning, and a light Breeze springs up 
from the East: at seven o'Clock saw a Sail to the S.E. 
standing towards us, which proved a Pilot Boat. We 
put back Part of our Sails, and took a Pilot on Board 
about 10 A.M. At nine we saw Land from the Mast- 
head and casting the Lead, found 13 Vi Fathom 
Water. At one o'Clock we passed Cape Hunlopen 26 
with a fine Breeze, which with the Tide, carried us 
15 Miles in the Hour. About 5 P.M. a Thunder Squall 
overtook us & we came to anchor, about 60 Miles up 
the Bay. 

30 Cape Henlopen, Delaware Bay. 

344 The North Carolina Historical Review 

July 28 We weighed anchor about 3 A.M. and, the Wind 
being contrary, tacked up with the Tide. We did the 
same in the Evening. 

29 The Wind still contrary we were obliged to tack with 
the Tide. About Midday we came to Anchor a little 
above Wilmington when, after Dinner, Cap*. Slade 
& I took the Boat and went on Shore, and this was the 
first Time I put foot upon American Land, and the 
first House I entered was that of a M r . James which 
stands close by the Shore. After procuring a Quant y . 
of New Potatoes, Apples, cake, Bread & Butter, &c 
we returned to the Ship, just in Time to weigh Anchor 
for the next Tide, which carried us up to the Fort 
on State Island. 

30 Morning very rainy. Betwixt 7 & 8 the Physician 
came on Board & soon dispatched us as all on Board, 
Thank God! were perfectly hearty. Capt. Slade then 
rowed to the Fort to announce & enter his ship, &c. 
and we soon afterwards got under Way ; at first with 
the Wind somewhat favorable, but afterwards con- 
trary. We however reached Philadelphia, and put safe 
into Hodges Wharf about one oClock P.M. The 
Weather still continuing rainy I went on Shore with 
the Cap 1 , immediately & dined at M r . Bushel's 27 the 
Cross Keys, in Front St. from when I sent my Family 
Dinner on Board the Ship, and having, for the present 
engaged Lodgings there, brought them in the Even- 
ing to the House. 28 

The Gales family lost no time in settling down in Philadelphia. 
Young Joseph hardly had time to become acquainted with his new 
surroundings when he was set to the task of studying; on Sep- 
tember 11 his father spent fifty cents for a grammar and a copy 
book for him and before a month had passed, thirty-six cents 
for another book. Tuition for Joseph's schooling was $8.00 per 
quarter. A servant girl name Jane was hired for the family at 
four dollars for six weeks. 29 The elder Joseph began work on 
August 10 as a typesetter, and later as bookkeeper and reporter 

27 On August 10 Gales paid Bushel $29.00 for twelve days board for himself and family. 
On the same day he paid $1.50 to have his personal property and household goods moved 
from Bushel's and from the customhouse where they were stored to one Scattergood's 
from whom he had rented a home at $10.70 a month. The cashbook for this period shows 
expenditures for china, furniture, lamps, fuel, milk, books, cooking utensils, andirons, and 
other housekeeping expenses. A haircut in 1795 cost Gales twelve cents while a month's milk 
supply for his family of four children was $4.20. A "Roma. History" for young Joseph cost 

28 On August 1, before disembarking, Gales gave $2.00 as "Presents to the Cook & Boy on 
Bd the Ship." 

20 All sums mentioned as expended or received are from the Gales cashbook. 

The Diary of Joseph Gales 345 

for The American Daily Advertiser, 30 published by the firm of 
Dunlap and Claypoole. It was while employed here that Gales 
used his knowledge of shorthand to report verbatim the pro- 
ceedings of Congress — a thing theretofore untried in America. 
His wages, at least to the end of the year 1795 when the cash- 
book closes, were $10.00 per week. Young Joseph, later co-owner 
and editor of the powerful National Intelligencer, seems to have 
made a favorable impression upon John Dunlap of the Daily 
Advertiser because on August 15 he received a five dollar gold 
piece from his father's new employer. 

The debit side of Gales' cashbook for this period contains fre- 
quent entries of sums for table covers sold at prices ranging from 
$1.15 to $10.00 each. One can only hazard the guess that these 
were the products of Winifred Gales' handwork, or else that they 
had been bought before leaving Germany especially to be sold 
in America. 31 The Gales family income also was supplemented by 
$21.70 received for "Sundries sold," $10.00 for a pair of pistols, 
$9.36 for some books, and $6.50 for some clothes that had be- 
longed to his apprentice who returned to England just before 
Gales left Germany. 

On September 10, 1796, Gales bought the Philadelphia news- 
paper, Independent Gazetteer and on September 16 the first num- 
ber of Gales' s Independent Gazetteer was published. He discon- 
tinued this paper almost exactly a year later — September 12, 
1797 — and sold it to Samuel H. Smith who, on November 16, 
began publication of The Universal Gazette. 32 

Among Gales' friends in Philadelphia was Nathaniel Macon 
who, together with other Republican leaders, was responsible 
for his decision to remove to North Carolina. 33 In 1799 Gales left 
Philadelphia for Raleigh 34 and on October 22 of that year pub- 
lished the first number of his new newspaper, the Raleigh 
Register and North-Carolina Weekly Advertiser 35 On December 
2, 1800, the title of the newspaper was changed to Raleigh 
Register, and North-Carolina State Gazette, and on December 

30 Smith, Dictionary of American Biography, VII, 100. 

31 This latter supposition, however, seems less likely since no entry for such a purchase 
was made in the cashbook. 

32 Clarence S. Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Neivspapers, 1690-1820 
(Worcester 1947), I, 910, 920. 

83 H. M. Wagstaff, 'editor, The Papers of John Steele (Raleigh, 1924), I, 191. 
3i Raleigh Register and North-Carolina Gazette, August 27, 1841. 

^Winifred Gregory, American Newspapers, 1821-1936, A Union List (New York, 1937), 

346 The North Carolina Historical Review 

27, 1811, it became the Raleigh Register, and North Carolina 
Gazette. 36 

The North Carolina General Assembly, meeting in November 
and December, 1800, awarded the state's printing contract to 
Gales 37 and the volume of Laws of North-Carolina for that year 
was printed by him. 

In his new home Gales' interests were directed into many 
channels. In 1801 he was among the petitioners seeking state 
aid for the establishment of an academy in Raleigh 38 and in 1928 
he became a member of the first board of directors of a school 
for the deaf and dumb. 39 By 1806 he had opened a bookstore 
in Raleigh 40 and two years later was serving his community as 
a notary public. 41 He favored emancipation and colonization of 
the Negro slaves and in 1819 served as secretary to the Raleigh 
Auxiliary Society for Colonizing the Free People of Colour of the 
United States. 42 Gales also lent his support to the early efforts 
to establish a penitentiary. 43 He was a member of the board of 
directors of the State Bank 44 and served as mayor of Raleigh for 
nineteen years. 45 And finally, not out of keeping with the custom 
for newspaper editors of his day, he operated a paper mill. 46 

Gales' later years were spent in Washington where his eldest 
son, Joseph, and his son-in-law, William Winston Seaton, pub- 
lished the widely-read and influential National Intelligencer. 
Gales, while in Washington, compiled the first two volumes of 
the Annals of Congress. 

Prior to his death, Gales returned to Raleigh where he owned 
a great deal of property. He died on August 24, 1841, and was 

38 Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, I, 774-775. 
87 Wagstaff, The Papers of John Steele, I, 440. 

38 Charles L. Coon, The Beginnings of Public Education in North Carolina (Raleigh, 1908), 
I, 26. 

80 Coon, The Beginnings of Public Education in North Carolina, I, 382. 

40 John Haywood to John Steele, June 25, 1806. Wagstaff, The Papers of John Steele, 

I, 476. 

41 John Haywood to John Steele, January 6, 1808. Wagstaff, The Papers of John Steele, 

II, 536. 

42 Johnson, Ante-Bellum North Carolina, 562, 569. At the time of his death, however, 
Gales owned seven slaves. Wills, 1837-1841, in office of clerk of superior court, Wake County 
courthouse, Raleigh, N. C. 

43 Johnson, Ante-Bellum North Carolina, 661. In 1802 Gales published a sixteen-page 
pamphlet, Dr. Jones's Speech on the Bill to amend the Penal Laws, By establishing A 
Penitentiary House for Criminals . . . Taken in Short Hand by J. Gales. A copy of this 
report is in the pamphlet collection of the North Carolina Department of Archives and 

**J. G. De R. Hamilton, editor, The Papers of Thomas Puffin (Raleigh, 1918), I, 146. 

46 Smith, Dictionary of American Biography, VII, 100. Official records in the Raleigh City 
Hall, however, do not exist from which this statement can be verified. 

48 Inventory of Gales' estate accompanying his will in office of clerk of superior court, 
Wake County courthouse. 

The Diary of Joseph Gales 347 

buried in the city cemetery near the East Street entrance. By 
the terms of his will he left his family 47 the remainder of his 
property not previously distributed among them. 

47 His family had not been without its wayward member. Letters from Joseph Gales, the 
younger, to David Daggett of New Haven, Connecticut, written in 1821 and 1824, now in 
the Yale University Library, mention his "lost" brother's child, a girl who had been born 
in Louisiana, whom the family was trying to locate and receive in North Carolina. Gales' 
will of 1841 contains bequests to certain persons whom he considered his grandchildren. 


Gallant Rebel : The Fabulous Cruise of the C. S. S. Shenandoah. By Stanley 
F. Horn. (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. 1947. Pp. viii, 
292. $2.75.) 

The Shenandoah was the last armed cruiser to fly the Con- 
federate flag and the only vessel to carry this flag around the 
world. Next to the Alabama she was the most destructive of 
United States shipping, taking in all nearly forty prizes valued 
at about $1,400,000. Originally the Sea King, a fast merchant- 
man built for the India trade, the ship was purchased by Con- 
federate agents at Liverpool in 1864 and sailed to the Madeiras 
where by prearrangement she was met and taken over by a 
crew under command of Captain James Iredell Waddell, a native 
of Pittsboro, North Carolina, and a graduate of the United States 
Naval Academy. Waddell equipped the vessel as an armed cruiser 
and set out for the Pacific by way of the Cape of Good Hope and 
Australia, taking prizes as they appeared. A defective propeller 
shaft and bearing necessitated dry-docking and general over- 
hauling at Melbourne, during which some legal difficulties were 
encountered in regard to recruiting among neutrals. Although 
Waddell successfully extricated himself from these charges, his 
ship left Australia with forty-two welcome stowaways, who were 
promptly added to the short-handed crew. 

Leaving Melbourne on February 18, 1865, Waddell proceeded 
with the execution of his orders to concentrate upon the hitherto 
untouched New England whaling fleet in the north Pacific. In 
operations that extended into Arctic waters and are remarkable 
for narrow escapes from icebergs and other terrors of the high 
latitudes, the Shenandoah wrought havoc upon the unsuspecting 
whalers. In June newspapers captured aboard a Bering Sea prize 
told of Lee's defeat; but since these papers also carried Davis' 
proclamation declaring that the war would be continued with 
renewed vigor, the cruise was not abandoned. At length on 
August 2, approximately a thousand miles west of Acapulco, 
Mexico, the British merchantman Barracouta, bound from San 
Francisco to Liverpool, reported beyond all doubt the complete 
collapse of the Confederacy. Without standing in maritime law 
and branded as a pirate in the United States, Waddell was urged 


Book Reviews 349 

by junior crew members to beach the ship or to seek the nearest 
British colonial port. Wisely disregarding such advice, he laid 
a course for England by the way of Cape Horn, and on November 
6, after a voyage of 17,000 miles without speaking a ship, the 
Shenandoah put in at Liverpool, where vessel and crew were 
surrendered to the British authorities. 

The events above outlined have been woven by the author of 
this volume into as fine a sea yarn as one might wish to read. 
Mr. Horn knows how to tell a story ; and if he had been content 
to acknowledge this as his purpose, his work would receive 
nothing but praise from this reviewer. Unfortunately, however, 
the work aspires to the character of "an authentic historical 
narrative," a clasification that can hardly be accepted. On nearly 
every page there appear lengthy conversations, in direct dis- 
course, presumably reconstructed by the author from accounts 
he has consulted. Reference is made to "the scattered diaries and 
fugitive narratives" of the Shenandoah's officers, but with one or 
two exceptions these are not further identified or located. There 
are no footnote citations and there is no evaluation of sources, in 
particular the account of Cornelius E. Hunt (The Shenandoah; 
or the Last Confederate Cruiser) , which is extremely critical of 
Waddell's integrity. One would also like to know how "the offi- 
cials of the Navy Department in Washington ... so kindly made 
available" the log of the Shenandoah when this document is and 
has been for many years in the Department of Archives and 
History at Raleigh. 

Good writing does not need to be justified by calling itself 
history; but when an author attempts the latter, he should ob- 
serve the canons which historical scholarship has imposed upon 
itself. In this case the author appears to have his categories con- 
fused. James W. Patton. 

The University of North Carolina, 

Chapel Hill, N. C. 

The Bright Tobacco Industry, 1860-1929. By Nannie M. Tilley. (Chapel 
Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. 1948. Pp. xiv, 754. 
Illustrations. $8.00). 

This volume presents far more history and more history that 
is significant than the modest title implies. The opening chapter 

350 The North Carolina Historical Review 

sketches the story of bright tobacco from the early seventeenth 
century when its virtues and the reasons for them were recog- 
nized to the period of the Civil War when formulas for its pro- 
duction were developed. In the thirteen chapters that follow every 
phase of the cultivation, marketing, and manufacture of this to- 
bacco is presented in detail. This contribution in itself is impor- 
tant, but further significance derives from the historic role of 
bright tobacco. Its ultimate large-scale utilization led to funda- 
mental changes in the methods of preparing the seed bed, in har- 
vesting and curing, and in crop rotation. The complicated grad- 
ing system needed for this tobacco was the main reason for the 
rise of the loose-leaf auction sale system of marketing. Also it 
was the utilization of bright tobacco that led to the development 
of almost every mechanical device used in tobacco factories 
today. Yet another way of emphasizing the significance of this 
study is to point out that the area devoted to bright tobacco 
produced about forty-nine per cent of all the tobacco grown in 
the United States in 1929. Furthermore, since this tobacco has 
long dominated the economy of the region where it is grown, 
its history, as delineated by Dr. Tilley, is also largely the history 
of the life of the people of that region. 

The research presented in this volume is astounding and envi- 
able. It is doubtful if even Dr. Tilley could name an available 
source that she for some reason has failed to track down and 
utilize. In addition, looming behind this masterly research, is the 
author's background. Her youth in the Old Bright Belt gave her 
an understanding of the tobacco country which she has seemingly 
unconsciously made part of her study. An equally gifted and well 
trained historian could have executed a good history on this 
subject, but probably no one could have imparted the compre- 
hension that Dr. Tilley's unique advantage facilitated. 

By virtue of her background and mastery of the subject, Dr. 
Tilley was in a position to interpret her findings as no one else 
could, but in this respect there are readers who will say that she 
has not done as much as she could and should have done. A note- 
worthy exception is her conclusion that it was speculation and 
the loose-leaf auction system rather than the manufacturers that 
were responsible for the low prices received by the tobacco 
farmers. In addition it may be pointed out that terms peculiar to 

Book Reviews 351 

the industry are not always explained the first time they appear. 
In view, however, of the monumental nature of this study, these 
shortcomings should be characterized as regrets rather than as 

The volume is provided with over forty pertinent illustrations. 
The appendices present supplementary subject matter ranging 
from curing formulas to firm inventories. The bibliography, 
although designated as "selected," takes eighteen pages. The 
completeness and accuracy of the index does justice to the subject 
in that it makes the details readily available. These features, so 
frequently omitted in these days of popularization, add appreci- 
ably to this great contribution to agricultural and industrial 

Everett E. Edwards. 
United States Department of Agriculture, 
Washington, D. C. 

The Common Glory. By Paul Green. (Chapel Hill: University of North 
Carolina Press. 1948. Pp. ix, 273. $2.75.) 

This is Mr. Green's third in a series of plays based on 
American history, the previous two being The Lost Colony con- 
cerning Raleigh's unsuccessful attempt at colonization on 
Roanoke Island and The Highland Call about the glamorous 
career of Flora Macdonald. The Pulitzer Prize dramatist of 
Chapel Hill has at times contemplated many others : one dealing 
with the Moravians of Winston-Salem, a play of the Indians and 
frontiersmen of western North Carolina, a drama at Washing- 
ton of our first President, and one revolving about the early 
history of the Southwest to be given in California. Historical 
pageantry is nothing new ; our professional historians have long 
recognized its value in mass education, and chambers of com- 
merce have been alert to other benefits. But the compositions of 
Paul Green have not been mere pageants. Rather, as the sub- 
title to The Common Glory, he appends "A Symphonic Drama of 
American History with Music, Commentary, English Folksong 
and Dance." The emphasis is upon the word drama. He realizes 
that the mere record of historical events may lose in unified 
performance, in audience interest. He is aware, too, that sheer 

352 The North Carolina Historical Review 

happenings need to be embellished with the accouterments of the 
theatre — pantomime, dance, music, poetry. 

The Common Glory, given every summer at Williamsburg, 
Virginia, in a beautiful outdoor theater especially built for it, 
conforms in every respect to Mr. Green's own definition for 
"symphonic drama," for it calls into use all the attributes of the 
spoken word. Music and dance become germane to the action; 
for instance, on one occasion we read that the "people cheer him 
mightily . . . and the organ declares forth its accustomed wel- 
coming flourish." It is as if the organ itself were a character in 
the story. 

Historically the drama is concerned with six years in the life 
of Thomas Jefferson, during that time when he was a familiar 
figure on the streets of Williamsburg. Jefferson is shown as a 
member of the Continental Congress and the Virginia House of 
Burgesses and finally as Governor. Though the play is primarily 
the struggle of one man, he is clearly the symbol of American 
freedom and equality, and the effort to transmit those ideals into 
reality. Others have prominent roles : for historical authenticity, 
Franklin, Adams, and Patrick Henry; for pathos, Patsy 
Jefferson, the governor's dying wife; for love interest, Hugh 
Taylor, a patriot, and Eileen Gordon, the daughter of a Tory; 
and for humor, that delightful but fictitious thief and coward, 
Cephus Sicklemore. 

Beyond the form and materials is the function of the drama- 
tist. The Common Glory is not simply entertainment or historical 
instruction. Again Paul Green is reminding us of "the American 
dream" — the ideals which prompted it, the struggles which won 
it, and the endeavors which we must make to keep it alive. 

Richard Walser. 

North Carolina State College, 
Raleigh, N. C. 

A Sketch of the Life of Brig. Gen. Francis Marion and a History of His 
Brigade. By William Dobein James. (Marietta, Georgia: Continental 
Book Co., 1948. Pp. vii, 181. Appendix. $6.00.) 

In 1821 the South Carolina judge, William D. James, pub- 
lished this biography of his former commander, "the Swamp 
Fox." The book had a very limited circulation — scarcely a 

Book Reviews 353 

fraction as much as an earlier volume about Marion written by 
that arch truth-twister, Parson Weems. The Weems volume went 
through scores of editions, thus disseminating and multiplying 
the Weems falsehoods throughout the land. 

James began his work by viewing the first settlement of 
Huguenots on the Santee where settled the ancestors of Marion. 
Surprisingly few lines are concerned with tired genealogy, and 
soon the reader is in the midst of the Southern campaigns of 
the American Revolution. Relying on his own memory in part, 
James also made use of much source material which had been 
preserved by Marion's friends and relatives. 

The bulk of the study is devoted to a history of Marion's 
brigade from June 1789, until it was disbanded in December 
1782. A thirty-nine page appendix contains copies of letters 
written by many of the military characters of the time, pri- 
marily Generals Greene and Marion. 

Judge James's book, something of a collector's item for many 
decades, has been reprinted with a short introduction by South 
Carolina's state historian, A. S. Salley. Outside of these four 
pages of introductory material, the publication is simply a 
reprint and offers no new material. 

Robert M. Langdon. 

United States Naval Academy, 

Annapolis, Md. 

Frederick Douglass. By Benjamin Quarles. (Washington: Associated Pub- 
lishers. 1948. Pp. xi, 378. Bibliography, Appendix, Index. $4.00.) 

This biography of Douglass is the first to be written by a 
scholar trained in modern research methods, and it reveals a 
distinct superiority over the previous works on Douglass. 

Professor Quarles, a member of the history department of 
Dillard University, New Orleans, selected a subject whose career 
was as varied as it was extensive and influential — a career full 
of the theme of "up from slavery" to the position of being the 
outstanding Negro of the slavery era. 

Making use of the best of sources, the author does full justice 
to the remarkable career of Douglass but does not allow himself 
to lose a sense of objectivity when evaluating that career. 

354 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Douglass, being a very active human being, was not infallible, 
and Mr. Quarles does not hesitate to call attention to errors in 
judgment and action of his subject. 

The volume contains several appropriate illustrations, suit- 
able bibliography and index, and is well documented throughout. 

Mr. Quarles has rendered a genuine service in the field of 

American history and biography. 

Robert M. Langdon. 

United States Naval Academy, 
Annapolis, Md. 

Francis Lieber. By Frank Freidel. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univer- 
sity Press. 1948. Pp. 445. $4.50.) 

Of all the intellectuals who, in their flight from reaction, were 
bequeathed to the United States by the upheavals and turmoils 
of nineteenth-century Europe, Francis Lieber was surely one 
of the most interesting, versatile, and important. A fugitive from 
Prussian persecution, he came to the United States in 1827, 
having already experienced wounds at Waterloo, imprisonment in 
Prussia, a Ph.D. at Jena, and enlistment in behalf of Greek 
independence. He was, in the words of his friend, the historian 
Barthold Niebuhr, "one of the youths of the noble period . . . 
who lost themselves in visions, the elements of which they drew 
from their own hearts; and this terrible contrast between his 
experience and all that he had imagined — all that impelled him 
into distant lands, has broken his heart." He brought with him 
to Boston an ardent liberalism, an earnest nationalism, and an 
emotional nature which made it difficult for him to avoid con- 
troversy. His career in America was distinguished by its variety 
and by a certain intellectual eclecticism which made for him a 
reputation as a veritable behemoth of a scholar. 

In the United States Lieber first became known as an encyclo- 
pedist who edited the Americana, but he is perhaps best known 
as professor of history and political economy at South Carolina 
College (1835-1857), as professor in Columbia College in New 
York (1857-1872), and as a publicist. 

The period of more than twenty years spent in the South is of 
more than usual interest in Lieber's career. He went to South 

Book Reviews 355 

Carolina College because that professorship was the only posi- 
tion he could get, and he went with a heavy heart, persuaded 
that it amounted to exile. Within a fortnight after his arrival he 
sounded an indictment of the South which he would never re- 
scind : "Everything is arid here ; arid soil, arid life, arid society ; 
nor a breath of scientific air, nor a spark of intellectual electric- 
ity .. . surely, forever I could not live so. . . ." Endlessly he 
denounced the immaturity of his restless students, the lack of 
intensive scholarship among his Southern friends, and the back- 
wardness of the economic system built around slavery. The 
longer he remained in South Carolina the more sour he became. 
His particular dislikes were teaching, slavery, and Presbyteri- 
ans — and he saw a great deal of all of them as long as he was 
at South Carolina College. Being a practical man, and having 
a large family to suport, he was publicly silent concerning 
slavery. The fact that he was an ardent free trader and at least 
satisfactory on religion made his position tolerable. 

When Lieber went north in 1857 he reversed most of his 
former attitudes, evidently reveling in his release. He became a 
Republican, he attacked slavery, and he sacrified his principles of 
civil liberty on the altar of nationalism. During the war and 
reconstruction period this ardent nationalism enabled him — 
though he was the author of a notable treatise on Civil Liberty 
and Self -Government — to support Lincoln in his habeas corpus 
struggle and to keep pace with his friend Charles Sumner in all 
matters of Radical Reconstruction. The death of his son Oscar 
while in Confederate service only added to the bitterness of the 
old father toward the South. 

As a publicist Lieber's career was of undoubted distinction. 
His works on Political Ethics and on Civil Liberty and Self- 
Government, to mention only the two which were most out- 
standing, mark him as a thoughtful and scholarly philosopher 
concerning matters of political science. His Basic Code For the 
Rules of War, done at the request of General Halleck, and his 
work for Secretary Stanton as Chief of the Bureau of Rebel 
Archives were equally notable achievements. In addition, there 
were numerous writings on such varied subjects as penology, 
free trade, statistics, and international law. There was scarcely 
an idea current in nineteenth-century Europe or America that 

356 The North Carolina Historical Review 

escaped the energetic attention of Lieber's fertile mind and dis- 
cursive pen. 

Freidel's book on Lieber is a fine biography. No student of 
Lieber's career will need to look further than this book for 
satisfactory accounts of the events of his life. The account is 
based on the fruits of extensive research into materials not 
available to older biographers such as Perry and Harley. Large 
manuscript collections in the Henry E. Huntington Library and 
the Johns Hopkins University Library, together with collections 
of lesser importance at Columbia, Harvard, and the Library of 
Congress, form the bases for this new evaluation. Nothing more 
is needed in order to understand the life of the subject. 

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said in regard to Lieber's 
thought. The student of ideas who wishes to discover the essence 
of Lieber's political theories and to decide what is valid in his 
thought must still read Lieber himself. This is no easy task, for 
his style is heavy and his prolixity is notorious. But there is still 
reward in the work of this Prussian intellectual who came to love 
America, and Mr. Freidel has given the student of intellectual 
history an admirable setting in which to attempt his evaluation 
of such a fertile mind. The life of Francis Lieber has been ade- 
quately written; the life of Lieber's mind remains to be done. 

Frontis W. Johnston. 

Davidson College, 

Davidson, N. C. 

Rebel Raider, Being An Account of Raphael Semmes's Cruise in the C.S.S. 
Sumter. Composed in large part of extracts from Semmes's Memoirs of 
Service Afloat, written in the year 1869, selected and supplemented by 
Harpur Allen Gosnell, Lieutenant-Commander, U.S.N.R. (Chapel Hill, 
The University of North Carolina Press. 1948. Pp. vii, 204. Illustrations, 
appendices, and index. $3.75.) 

Raphael Semmes was one of the enigmatic figures of his age. 
To Southerners he was a hero whose daring raids and deter- 
mined leadership as commander of the Sumter and the more 
famous Alabama promised to drive Yankee commerce from the 
high seas. To Northern newspaper readers he was a devil incar- 
nate who inflicted needless torture on captives after burning the 
ships which had given them an honest livelihood. To his ship- 

Book Reviews 357 

mates he was an austere and somewhat grim chief who had only 
one close associate and no confidents. Seemingly, no one of them 
ever attempted any explanation of the title, "Old Beeswax," 
bestowed upon him by the members of his crew, who were alter- 
nately outraged by his harshness and awed by his sincere solici- 
tude for their welfare. Yet the historian finds him in his Memoirs 
of Service Afloat, During the War between the States (Balti- 
more, 1869) as garrulous as an old woman and extremely human 
in his petty vanities. 

Rebel Raider is somewhat less in volume and slightly more in 
total subject-matter than Semmes's own account of the exploits 
of the Sumter. This first of the eight or nine important Confed- 
erate raiders was transformed into a reasonable approximation 
of a man-of-war in the harbor of New Orleans during the spring 
of 1861. The period of her active service as a raider was from 
June 30, 1861, until January 18, 1862. On the latter date she 
limped into the port of Gibraltar, too far spent to risk a race 
with her pursuers, the Kearsarge and the Tuscarora, and cer- 
tainly in no condition to challenge them to a fight as later 
occurred in the case of Alabama against the Kearsarge. Semmes 
accounted for eighteen vessels captured by the Sumter. Of these 
seven were burned, seven were returned to their owners 
by neutral authorities, one escaped, one was recaptured, and two 
were released on ransom bonds. In each case, Semmes carefully 
considered every angle of international law and the recognized 
rights of neutrals and belligerents. Though he was well informed 
on these matters his decisions were based on the assumption that 
the Confederate government was to be considered as the sov- 
ereign agent of a full-fledged national state. Naturally this meant 
that his decisions were always wrong from the standpoint of 
Yankee skippers and subject to serious question by neutral port 
and diplomatic authorities. In general, it seems that British 
colonial authorities were more liberal in their treatment of 
Semmes than was the official policy of their government. Latin- 
American, Spanish, and French authorities varied from laxity 
that was virtual violation of neutrality to personal obstinacy 
that called forth Semmes's best efforts at legal sophistry and 

358 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The editor's best work is the reduction of the original account 
in the Memoirs to a straightforward narrative with the emphasis 
always on action rather than on legal controversy or personal 
reflections by the author. There are occasional explanations of 
purely nautical terms, so that a landlubber such as the present 
reviewer is able to grasp the essential details of the narrative. 
Points of international law and comity are handled by bracketed 
insertions which peremptorily deny the validity of those acts 
and decisions regarded by the editor as erroneous. There are 
short treatments of Semmes's life before and after the Civil War. 
These present a fair estimate of Semmes's place in naval history, 
though hardly sufficient to counteract his own exaggerated opin- 
ion that the Sumter had single-handedly cleared the seas of 
American borne commerce. The entire editorial contribution to 
the work could have been improved by more careful proof-read- 
ing with a view to eliminating common errors in spelling and 
sentence structure. 

Paul Murray. 

East Carolina Teachers College, 
Greenville, North Carolina. 

Joseph Benson Foraker, An Uncompromising Republican. By Everett 
Walters. (Columbus: The Ohio History Press. 1948. Pp. xiv, 315. Illus- 
trations. $3.50.) 

Professor Walters' study is the first volume of the Ohio 
Governors Series being issued by the Ohio State Archaeological 
and Historical Society. The biography's subtitle serves as a key 
to an understanding of Foraker (1846-1917). His noteworthy 
accomplishments and traits were: to advance himself by bar- 
gaining and oratory in the rough-and-tumble of a machine-ridden 
state; to use his positions as governor (1886-1890) and United 
States Senator (1897-1909) to help strengthen laissez-faire and 
imperialistic policies of his party; to become a millionaire 
through activities as a corporation lawyer and lobbyist; and to 
stick to his conservative convictions and business connections, 
including that with the Standard Oil Company, even when con- 
fronted with damaging documentary evidence (forged in part 
by William Randolph Hearst) against his personal integrity. His 

Book Reviews 359 

greatest mistake politically was refusal to cooperate consistently 
with other Ohio bosses in their efforts to nominate John Sherman 
for the presidency in 1888. Foraker himself aspired to the presi- 
dency ; and he continued to seek a nomination. Instead he became 
involved, because of his ambition, in a bitter intra-party fight 
with more adroit politicians such as Mark Hanna, William 
McKinley, William Howard Taft, and Theodore Roosevelt. They 
never forgot what they considered his duplicity in 1888. His most 
outstanding accomplishment was to remain actively in politics 
until Roosevelt and Taft read him out of office in 1908-1909. 

Graduate students and professors who plan to write biogra- 
phies of controversial political figures may wish to use Walters's 
approach as a model. His study offers a smooth chronological 
organization, two pertinent illustrations, a bibliography (par- 
tially annotated), an index, and close scrutiny of printing de- 
tails. He strives neither to praise nor to damn his subject, but 
portrays him as a product of a Northern society marked by 
industrialism and growing imperialism and of a state that 
possessed more than its share of machine politics. In the first 
half of the book Foraker is placed in the "bloody shirt" era of 
Ohio and sectional politics; afterwards he is depicted as a na- 
tional figure. The author's work is straight-forward, unbiased, 
workmanlike, scholarly, and heavily documented. The subject is 
important. Readers may, with pleasure, form their own con- 
clusions about Foraker both as a state officeholder and as one 
of the makers of important national policies in a period when 
the United States first became a powerful force in international 

Weymouth T. Jordan. 

Alabama Polytechnic Institute, 
Auburn, Ala. 

The Whig Party in Georgia, 1825-1853. By Paul Murray. The James Sprunt 
Studies in History and Political Science, vol. XXIX. (Chapel Hill: The 
University of North Carolina Press. 1948. Pp. vii, 219.) 

The history of Georgia's Whig party embraces four periods. 
The first began near the close of the first quarter of the nine- 
teenth century and ended in 1833. The second period lasted about 

360 The North Carolina Historical Review 

seven years, ending in 1840. Approximately a decade, that of the 
forties, is encompassed by the third period. The early fifties 
brought asphyxiation to Whiggery on both the national and local 
levels. Within this chronological pattern Mr. Murray presents the 
evolution of party organization, programs, and dogma. Georgia's 
Troup-State Rights-Whig party, he believes, hammered out on 
the level of party dogma a neat trilogy : "the relation of govern- 
ment to economic activity, the relation of government to the 
individual citizen, and the relation of the Federal government to 
the states of the Union." A multiplicity of forces, such as local 
issues, personal followings, and economic considerations, are care- 
fully appraised. Mr. Murray holds that Georgia's semi-frontier 
character precluded an intelligent appraisement of "statesman- 
like qualities" in a candidate. Whig candidates, he asserts, were 
generally the more "statesman-like." 

A political party is a subject of many dimensions. Human 
affairs are so interrelated that indeed the history of one party 
becomes in fact the history of the contemporary party or parties. 
Mr. Murray has recognized this aspect of his problem in giving 
to the Democratic party the attention it would seem to merit. 
Of the eight chapters in this work the final one, a summary inter- 
pretation, is especially noteworthy for certain of its generaliza- 
tions. Among the best of these is the following: "Slave-holding 
as such was nowhere the economic basis for political cleavage, 
but the hope of prosperity by means of a political program found- 
ed on exploitation of natural resources by slave labor was the 
fatal mirage which lured more than one political party to its 
doom." It might be added that this chapter would be more read- 
able if the narrative were not so uneven. Such a study lends itself 
to chronological treatment. While Mr. Murray has applied such 
treatment, yet too frequently he compels the reader, especially 
in the final chapter, to return with him for another look. 

A few questions in respect to some of Mr. Murray's opinions 
might be raised. This reviewer would like to know why Whig 
leaders "did not initiate a single act in these commonly accepted 
fields of nineteenth century social legislation." Moreover, if these 
leaders "opposed every specific proposal offered by their oppo- 
nents," can it be said that they "staked the existence of their 
party on the intelligence and patriotism of their fellow-citizens 

Book Reviews 


and lost to those who appealed to prejudice and took advantage 
of ignorance of voters in Georgia ?" By refusing to support public 
education were not Whigs partly to blame for the ignorance? 
Further, is it assumable that no "specific proposal" offered by 
Whig opponents was either intelligent or patriotic ? If the Demo- 
cratic party was in 1832 "an irresponsible majority drunk with 
power in the state and the Union," can it be demonstrated that 
Georgia and the Union would have fared better under Whig rule ? 
Finally, which Whig editors of 1850 were "always a little more 
cognizant of principles than the usual run of political leaders?" 
Mr. Murray has done a solid piece of research, using for the 
most part Georgia newspapers. There appears one minor slip in 
the handling of the Athens Banner. It is not correct to say the 
Democrats nominated Hershel V. Johnson for governor in 1853 
as a result of pressure from this journal and then attribute John- 
son's poor showing in north Georgia to the support it gave to his 
opponent, Charles J. Jenkins. This journal changed editors in 
May, 1853, about a month before Johnson's nomination. The new 
editor, James Sledge, brought the paper in line with Governor 
Howell Cobb, who supported Johnson's candidacy. Hopkins Hol- 
sey, who edited the paper before Sledge, had been a strong 
Unionist in 1850. He and Cobb broke over the governor's effort 
to settle his differences with the Democratic organization. The 
book is virtualty free of typographical blemishes. It is well docu- 
mented and contains both a bibliography and an index. 

Horace Montgomery. 
University of Georgia, 
Athens, Ga. 

A Constitutional History of Georgia. By Albert Berry Saye. (Athens: 
Georgia. University of Georgia Press. 1948. Pp. xii, 521. $4.50.) 

In this book, Professor Albert Berry Saye of the University of 
Georgia attempts the rather large task of relating the constitu- 
tional history of Georgia from the charter of 1732 down to the 
present day. Since the Declaration of Independence, Georgia has 
had eight constitutions. Moreover, there has been a staggering 
prodigality of amendment. The constitution of 1877, for example, 
was amended 303 times before finally yielding to the new docu- 
ment of 1945 which incorporated a good portion of the amend- 
ments. Nor, if we may trust the author, is any respite likely. His 

j * » 

362 The North Carolina Historical Review 

final word is that "it takes no sage to see that further revisions 
in Georgia's Constitution of 1945 are needed!" 

The constitution of 1798 is identified by Professor Saye as the 
"basic document" in Georgia's political development. Its influ- 
ence has persisted through all the subsequent welter of revision 
and amendment. In its provision for universal manhood suffrage, 
this constitution was in advance of its time. Otherwise it faith- 
fully reflected the dominant political ideas of the day and the 
recent political experience. While giving the governor a veto, it 
commanded a strict separation of powers. The legislature was 
clearly conceived of as the most powerful branch of the govern- 
ment, but with the Yazoo frauds freshly in mind, limits were 
set to its authority. The fundamental freedoms were guaranteed 
and the importation of slaves forbidden. 

For the greater part of his book, Professor Saye has enriched 
his discussion of the various constitutional provisions with relat- 
ed social, economic, and biographical data. He has an excellent 
account, based on many original sources, of the colonial period. 
He goes to some pains to refute the "legend" that the colony 
was established as a refuge for imprisoned debtors. Of more 
contemporary importance is his demonstration of the acceptance 
in Georgia during the Revolution of the theory that sovereignty 
passed directly from the crown to the Union of the states, and 
not to the states individually. 1 There is also a necessarily sketchy, 
but adequate, account of the growth of political parties in Georgia. 

Unfortunately, Professor Saye does not continue throughout 
his narrative to supply the facts which make constitutional his- 
tory meaningful. The latter part of the work amounts to little 
more than a paraphrase of the innumerable constitutional pro- 
visions with dates of adoption supplied. Further, in his essays in 
political theory, the author betrays a weakness which sharply 
limits the value of his volume. Certainly, it is a bit far-fetched 
to suggest, as Professor Saye does, that the higher law notion 
in the doctrine of judicial review has any substantial relation 
to the crown's veto. Nevertheless, the book is a welcome contribu- 
tion and one which, it may be hoped, will soon find a North 
Carolina companion. Francis Paschal. 

Wake Forest, N. C. 

1 This theory has received the sanction of the United States Supreme Court. See United 
States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corporation, 299 U. S. 304 (1936). 

* « t 

Book Reviews 363 

The Rural Press and the New South. By Thomas D. Clark. (Baton Rouge: 
The Louisiana State University Press. 1948. Pp. ix, 111. $2.00.) 

This slender volume consists of a series of three lectures 
(Walter Lynwood Fleming Lectures in Southern History) de- 
livered by the author at Louisiana State University. In brief 
compass, Professor Clark, from a wealth of source material 
gathered for his larger work, The Southern Country Editor, has 
ably portrayed the role of the Southern rural newspaper in the 
life of the common man in the decades following the Civil War. 

One gets the impression that most of the country editors 
operated on a financial shoestring with a minimum of apparatus ; 
nonetheless, they made bold to point up the obvious needs of the 
community and region which they professed to serve. Without 
offending households gods, country editors, safely within the 
Democratic fold, leveled their criticism at such evils as the one- 
crop system, incompetent officials, "pistol-toting," and the treat- 
ment of convicts. The editor who pressed his attack too vigor- 
ously might invite a personal encounter. Such affairs were not 
uncommon in a region were "assault and battery" was a familiar 
method of settling personal difficulties. 

The country editor not only pointed the way to a more diversi- 
fied and rewarding economy, bolstered by good schools and good 
roads; he also strove to entertain his subscribers by regaling 
them with neighborhood gossip, folklore, and human-interest 
stories. The writer asserts that the editor sometimes overreached 
himself in predicting the early demise of some stricken fellow- 
citizen, or he might terrify his readers by dramatically presenting 
evidence that certain persons had been buried alive. 

Professor Clark demonstrates that the rural press mirrored 
the social and political attitudes of the plain people and, by 
degrees, elevated public opinion to grapple more intelligently 
with public issues. The extent to which an editor influenced his 
readers (never numerous) cannot be accurately gauged. Much 
depended upon the individual. To most subscribers the editor was 
no oracle, especially when it came to giving advice about farming. 
Farmers, as a rule, consulted the almanac as to when to plant 
and when to prune and ruled out as visionary the hints of the 

364 The North Carolina Historical Review 

These lectures, presented in Professor Clark's engaging style, 
afforded a well-rounded picture of the agrarian South from 1865 
to 1918 as seen from the point of vantage of the country editor. 

Rosser H. Taylor. 

Western Carolina Teachers College, 

Cullowhee, N. C. 

Introduction to Research in American History (2nd ed.). By Homer Carey 
Hockett. (New York: The Macmillan Company. 1948. Pp. xvi, 141. Bibli- 
ography, index, appendix. $3.00.) 

This book was written as a manual to be used by students be- 
ginning research and writing in the field of American history. 
It deals only with the essential procedures in that field. Experi- 
ence had demonstrated that without such instructions teachers 
were often wearied by the "endless repetition of substantially 
identical directions." In the words of the author, "This manual 
atempts to make the path so plain that a student of capacity 
sufficient to earn an advanced degree may proceed with little 
more guidance than it affords." 

The present revision of this book involves no change of pur- 
pose or text, but adds an appendix which contains additional 
matter suggested by classroom use of this manual but which it 
was not feasible to incorporate in the book. The text is divided 
into three chapters of almost equal length. These are appropri- 
ately entitled "The Gathering of Data," "The Criticism of Data," 
and "Historical Composition." The chapters are broken down 
into carefully selected sub-divisions. The book is filled with well 
chosen examples of the proper techniques to be employed in 
historical research and composition and sound advice is given as 
to how to avoid or overcome the problems involved. "It has . . . 
seemed wise to take nothing for granted," writes Professor 
Hockett, "even at the risk of stressing the obvious." A very good 
index makes it easy for one to use this book as a manual. 

No errors have been noted in the text. The information con- 
tained in the appendix, such as a supplementary bibliography, 
should have been incorporated with similar information located 
elsewhere in the book. Some awkwardness in the use of the 
material will naturally result from this arrangement. 

Book Reviews 365 

This manual should prove to be particularly helpful to those 
students of American history who are seeking information con- 
cerning their problems in research and composition. To those 
engaged in the direction of graduate work in history, it may 
prove to be a very valuable time-saver. 

C. 0. Cathey. 

University of North Carolina, 

Chapel Hill, N. C. 

Paths to the Present. By Arthur M. Schlesinger. (New York: The Mac- 
millan Company. 1949. Pp. vi, 317. $4.00.) 

Professor Schlesinger has accomplished what should be the 
culmination of the historian's career: an interpretation of the 
present and a warning to the future in the light of the past. If 
much of the material presented is not new to the members of his 
profession, that is as it should be. The book was not designed 
for those to whom the facts of history are every day fare, al- 
though they may profit by many of his conclusions. Granted the 
author's ideological assumptions, the evidence of experience 
speaks for itself. Since the reviewer agrees that the "goal of a 
social service state" based on free institutions is not only legiti- 
mate but essential for survival, he has found the book a timely 
and highly palatable tonic. 

Paths to the Present is composed of theirteen essays, most of 
which have appeared in essence in scholarly journals, as is 
acknowledged in the bibliographical notes. Each chapter stands 
on its own premises and can be read without relation to the other 
twelve. The style is adult but not difficult. There is ample evi- 
dence of Mr. Schlesinger's penchant for the "classic statement" 
by means of quotation and, as usual, the selections are beyond 

Almost every chapter ends with a precept or points a pathway 
to the future. For all but chapter IV, "The Tides of National 
Politics," the reviewer believes the evidence irrefutable. The 
proposition presented in this essay is at once the most intriguing 
and the least convincing in the book. The author discovers a 
rhythm of conservative and liberal periods in our past, and pre- 
dicts therefrom that "we may expect the recession from liberal- 

366 The North Carolina Historical Review 

ism which began in 1947 to last till 1962. . . ." Obviously the 
proofing was done before Mr. Truman's recent triumph. The 
reviewer cannot agree that "basic pulsations of opinion are 
responsible for the cycles, if indeed they exist." The long period 
of reaction from 1869 to 1901 was certainly in part accomplished 
by thwarting the popular will. And that it can happen again is 
apparent from the succeeding chapters on "Persisting Problems 
of the Presidency." 

For North Carolina readers the inclusion of James Knox Polk 
amongst the four "near great" presidents comes as a tardy 
recognition of merit we have long been ready to recognize. To 
find two others (Jackson and Wilson), who spent a considerable 
portion of their formative years in this state, numbered amongst 
the "greats" is equally gratifying. This essay, "A Yardstick for 
Presidents," recently was printed in brief in Life magazine. 

Mr. Schlesinger is too able a historian to slip into errors of 
fact, but there is certainly room for a difference of opinion with 
respect to the reason ascribed for the popularity of Know- 
Nothingism in the South (p. 62) . Surely the charm of ritual to 
isolated farmers, the intolerance of backwoods protestants for 
Catholicism, and the unacceptability of both fire-eating Demo- 
crats and antislavery Republicans to Southern conservatives 
were responsible for as many votes as the "dread of the political 
strength accruing to the free states from the European (immi- 
grant) accessions." Nor does it seem quite fair to imply (p. 183) 
that the abolitionists had a claim of inconsistency against 
England when she issued a proclamation of neutrality in May, 
1861. Emancipation was not a war issue at that early date. Mr. 
Schlesinger quotes Literary Digest, Gallup, and Fortune polls 
as gospels of public opinion. To this Democratic reviewer (admit- 
tedly prejudiced) they don't amount to a democratic thing. 

Judicial, provocative, and entertaining, Paths to the Present 
should be required reading for all who claim that their feet are 
guided by the lamp of experience. Unfortunately, those who need 
it most will read it least. It is difficult to see how it could be 
better than it is. The reviewer's chief regret in closing the book 
was that Mr. Schlesinger did not himself essay the role of fore- 
caster in his "Casting the National Horoscope." If any social 

Book Reviews 367 

historian of the present can speak with the authority of the past, 
it is he. Chalmers G. Davidson. 

Davidson College, 
Davidson, N. C. 

Gold Star Honor Roll of Virginians in the Second World War. Edited by 
W. Edwin Hemphill. (Charlottesville: Virginia World War II History 
Commission. 1947. Pp. lxii, 373. Illustrations. Free.) 

Pursuits of War, The People of Charlottesville and Albemarle County, 
Virginia, in the Second World War. By Gertrude D. Parlier and others. 
(Charlottesville: Albemarle County Historical Society. 1948. Pp. xxiv, 
430. Illustrations. $3.50.) 

Two groups of World War II participants from Virginia 
are honored in these volumes. Gold Star Honor Roll lists by city 
or county the Virginians who gave their lives while serving in 
the armed forces of the United Nations, 1940-1946. The roster 
records name, ranking, and nearest of kin without indicating 
place or date of death. The index, however, lists only the deceased 

Pursuits of War records in detail the wartime activity of the 
citizens of Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Documenting 
the story of the region's civil and military contributions to 
victory from local newspapers, official reports, and personal let- 
ters, the authors have produced a finished study of the commu- 
nity under the unusual stresses of war. 

William S. Powell. 

State Department of Archives and History, 

Raleigh, N. C. 

The State Historical Society of Missouri — A Semicentennial History, 1898- 
1948. By Floyd C. Shoemaker. (Columbia, Missouri: The State Historical 
Society of Missouri. 1948. Pp. 193.) 

This volume that tells of one state historical society reveals 
much that is common to all such state societies : the sense of need 
of a society, humble beginnings, appropriations from the state 
legislature, struggles against indifference of citizens, important 
service of individuals, triumphs in contribution to history of the 

Floyd C. Shoemaker, secretary of the society, and an official in 
all but twelve years of its history, is author of the volume that 

368 The North Carolina Historical Review 

shows us ("You've got to show me") what Missouri has done. 

Mr. Shoemaker has reviewed the efforts of the states in their 
attempts to keep their record straight and has also given the 
public a fair picture of the development of the Missouri society. 

He describes the origin of his society, a child born of a state 
convention of newspaper men. As proof he includes a picture of 
the delegates of the members of the Missouri Press Association 
attending the Eureka Springs, Arkansas, convention, May 25-27, 
1898, who may truly be called founding fathers. 

Local developments are described, such as acquisition of im- 
portant collections, the boost of the World Fair at St. Louis, 
contribution of certain officers of the society, and the listing of 
an honorary member named Harry S. Truman. 

Officers and members of our state historical societies will do 
well to read Mr. Shoemaker's book and make a new survey of 
the field. 

Douglas L. Rights. 

Winston-Salem, N. C. 

Mannerhouse. By Thomas Wolfe. (New York: Harper & Brothers. 1948. 
Pp. 183. $3.00.) 

Mannerhouse, written by Wolfe about 1926, is a play of the 
Civil War period in a prologue and three acts. It has been taken 
from the mass of manuscript left at the author's death. The 
prologue, laid in the year 1725, is probably anachronistic in its 
background of a great white-columned plantation house being 
built by an "endless chain of savage black" slaves in the Carolina 
pinehill country; but it has the most effective scene in the play 
in the thundering Biblical defense of slavery by a minister 
speaking to awed but uncomprehending blacks. Symbolism per- 
meates the play. The noble mannerhouse of the Ramseys repre- 
sents the gracious manner of life of the old South; the oppres- 
sion upon which its aristocratic grandeur was built is the tragic 
flaw which becomes its nemesis. The first act opens in 1861 ; 
General Ramsey's son Eugene, at first cynical and rebellious, 
goes off to war from loyalty to a way of life which he believes is 
basically false. Four years later father and son return in defeat 
to an almost deserted mansion. In the end Eugene pulls down the 

Book Reviews 369 

house upon himself and upon the sinister character Porter, 
representative of the triumphant forces of mediocrity. The influ- 
ence of Shakespeare upon Wolfe is strong throughout the play, 
especially in the Hamlet-and-Ophelia scene between Eugene and 
his sweetheart. The similarity between the main character and 
the Eugene of Look Homeward, Angel (1929) is seen in their 
common anguished sense of nostalgic loss: "0 lost, and by the 
wind grieved, ghost, come back again." 

Wolfe's novelist's nature was not adapted to the rigorous, 
brief, tense interplay of character needed for drama. Like Balzac, 
he was fascinated by the theater; however, Saintsbury's stric- 
ture on Balzac, "For him drama was always an error," may be 
applied to Wolfe also. He has done better as a recreator of the 
Civil War Period in the short story, "Chickamauga." 

Wolfe comes by his interest in the Civil War period honestly, 

as his ancestors took an active part in it about which he heard 

from his mother (as has this reviewer). It is appropriate here 

to mention that the North Carolina Department of Archives and 

History has unpublished correspondence from T. C. Westall, 

Wolfe's maternal grandfather, to Governor Z. B. Vance in the 

Vance Papers (March 21, 1864) and in the Governor's Papers 

(November 5, 1864). In the Vance Papers Westall, writing from 

Swannanoa, describes the political conditions in western North 

Carolina, urges Vance to make "a big talk" in Buncombe, and 

anathematizes Holden, who "has swallowed a potion of political 

poison for which there is no antidote, and already his pulse has 

the flutterings of death." The writer has a vigor of language 

which presages the verbal fervor of his grandson. 

W. P. Cumming. 

Davidson College, 
Davidson, N. C. 

The Churches and the Social Conscience. By 0. T. Binkley. (Indianapolis, 
Indiana: National Foundation Press. 1948. Pp. 39. $1.00 cloth-bound, $.25 

To survey the influence of the churches in social movements 
for human betterment and to compress the study into less than 
forty pages and hardly more than seven thousand words calls 
for maximum concentration of study and compactness of state- 

370 The North Carolina Historical Review 

ment. Scores of books have appeared in this field, and the end 
is not yet. One inclines, however, to the opinion that Professor 
Binkley's quick and lucid summary has covered the subject as 
completely as it can be done. In the nature of the case his essay 
is a consensus, not an argument; it is a generalization rather 
than an analysis. As such it represents a job expertly done 
by one wholly conversant with his subject and provides a state- 
ment that will supply the general reader with all he needs to 
convince him of the massive influence and the moral value of the 
churches in the stimulation of a social conscience and a creative 

Edwin McNeill Poteat. 
Raleigh, N. C. 


Dr. Edward 0. Guerrant, an assistant professor of history at 
Davidson College, is teaching in the summer school at the Uni- 
versity of Southern California. 

On June 3 Dr. Frontis W. Johnston of Davidson College lec- 
tured before the National Academy of the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation, Washington, D. C, on the subject, "The Constitu- 
tion and the Bill of Rights." Law enforcement officers from all 
parts of the United States attended this school. 

Miss Sarah Lemmon of Meredith College has been granted a 
leave of absence for the year 1949-50 in order that she may com- 
plete her courses for her doctorate at the University of North 

Miss Fannie Memory Farmer has joined the staff of the his- 
tory department at Meredith College. She received her M.A. de- 
gree in history at the University of North Carolina in June, and 
she will tour Europe this summer. 

Dr. Harold T. Parker of the department of history of Duke 
University has been granted a leave of absence for the year 1949- 
1950 to do research in the French Archives. 

Dr. Paul H. Clyde of the department of history of Duke Uni- 
versity is visiting professor of history at Tulane University dur- 
ing the second term of the summer school. 

Dr. Charles S. Sydnor of the department of history of Duke 
University is visiting professor at the University of North Caro- 
lina during the second term of summer school. 

Mr. Richard S. Barry, a graduate student at Duke University, 
has been employed for the summer by the Divison of State Parks, 
Department of Conservation and Development, to do research in 
the history of Fort Macon. 


372 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Dr. Fletcher M. Green, Kenan professor of history at the Uni- 
versity of North Carolina, delivered the Walter Lynwood Flem- 
ing lectures at Louisiana State University on April 26, 27, and 
28. He gave two lectures at the Georgia State College for Women 
at Milledgeville, Georgia, on May 2. During the summer he is 
visiting professor of history at Columbia University. 

Dr. Frank W. Klingberg, assistant professor of history at the 
University of North Carolina, is teaching during the summer in 
the department of history, Pomona College, Claremont, Cali- 

Dr. A. R. Newsome of the University of North Carolina is 
visiting professor of history at the University of Iowa during the 

Mr. Robert A. Lively, a candidate for the Ph.D. degree at the 
University of North Carolina, has been appointed an instructor 
in history at Princeton University. 

Mr. William P. Roberts, Jr., a candidate for the Ph.D. degree 
in history at the University of North Carolina, has been appoint- 
ed an assistant professor of history at North Georgia College. 

Mr. John L. Snell, a candidate for the Ph.D. degree in history 
at the University of North Carolina, has been appointed an as- 
sistant professor of history at the University of Wichita, Wichi- 
ta, Kansas. 

Mr. Roscoe L. Strickland, a candidate for the Ph.D. degree in 
history at the University of North Carolina, has been appointed 
an assistant professor of history at the East Tennessee State 
Teachers College. 

Miss Mary Frances Gyles, a candidate for the Ph.D. degree in 
history at the University of North Carolina, has been appointed 
an assistant professor of history at Memphis State College, 
Memphis, Tennessee. 

Historical News 373 

Dr. Preston W. Edsall, head of the history department at 
State College, Raleigh, has published an article entitled, "The 
Advisory Opinion in North Carolina," in The North Carolina 
Law Review, XXVII (April, 1949), 297-344. 

Dr. H. E. Hirsch, chairman of the department of social sciences 
at Elon College, is teaching during the summer in the graduate 
school at the University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont. 

Mr. Clarence W. Griffin, editor of the Forest City Courier and 
a member of the Executive Board of the State Department of 
Archives and History, on April 28 addressed the Martha Petti- 
grew Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in 
Forest City. Mr. Griffin's subject was "What Makes North Caro- 
lina a Great State." 

The Benjamin May Chapter of the Daughters of the American 
Revolution on April 29 dedicated a chapter house in Farmville. 
This is the second such house in the South and it will also serve 
as a community house for the town. 

The North Carolina Society of County Historians made a tour 
of Wilmington and New Hanover County on April 18. Those go- 
ing on the tour visited Airlee and Orton Plantations, Old Bruns- 
wick, Fort Johnston, Clarendon Plantation, the graves of Corne- 
lius Harnett and Rose Greenough — the woman spy of the Con- 
federacy — the home of Governor Edward B. Dudley, the house in 
which Cornwallis had his headquarters, and the old opera house 
built in 1825. 

Members of the history faculties of several colleges and uni- 
versities and staff members of the State Department of Archives 
and History attended a dinner at the Woman's College of the 
University of North Carolina on May 14. Wake Forest College, 
Meredith College, State College, Davidson College, Greensboro 
College, the University of North Carolina, Duke University, and 
the State Department of Archives and History were represented. 

374 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The Historical Society of North Carolina held its spring meet- 
ing at Duke University on May 7. The program consisted of the 
following papers : "The Academy Movement in North Carolina," 
by Dr. Edgar W. Knight; "Queen's College, Queen's Museum, 
Liberty Hall, and the Salisbury Academy," by Dr. Archibald 
Henderson ; and "Baptist Academies in North Carolina," by Dr. 
George W. Paschal. 

Chowan College on May 13 celebrated its one hundredth anni- 
versary. Governor W. Kerr Scott delivered the principal address 
at the morning exercises and in the afternoon Dr. George W. 
Paschal of Wake Forest College delivered an address in which 
he gave the history of Chowan College. 

Forsyth County celebrated its one hundredth anniversary May 
6-14. The Bushgrower's League staged their Jamboree at Glenn's 
Warehouse on May 6. The Festival Symphony Orchestra gave a 
concert on May 11 at the Reynolds Auditorium and featured Miss 
Sara Holtiwanger, a native of Winston-Salem. The centennial 
parade was staged on May 12 after which a time capsule two feet 
in diameter and 4 feet long was buried on the courthouse square. 
This capsule was filled with mementoes of Winston-Salem in 
order that when Forsyth County celebrates its bicentennial these 
items may be dug up and exhibited. During the evening "For- 
sythorama" was presented at the Bowman Gray Stadium, also 
Verdi's "Requiem" was given at Reynolds Auditorium. The Arts 
and Crafts Workshop was open to the public May 9-14. A history 
of the county entitled Forsyth, A County on the March was pub- 
lished by the University of North Carolina Press as a part of the 

Alamance County celebrated its one hundredth anniversary, 
May 8-15. On the first day of the celebration there was a parade 
after which Governor W. Kerr Scott, a native of the county, de- 
livered an address. The Alamance County Centennial exposition 
was held in the Carolina Warehouse and was open the entire 
week. A pageant, "Alamance Heritage," was given, also Bascom 
Lamar Lunsford's "Minstrel of the Appalachains" was presented 

Historical News 375 

on Thursday and Friday, May 12 and 13. Representative Harold 
Cooley delivered an address on Friday, May 13. On Sunday, May 
15, a joint religious service was held with Dr. Harold Bosley, 
Dean of the Divinity School at Duke University, delivering the 

During the fiscal year which ended June 30 sixty-three new 
historical markers were approved for erection in the state and 
two old markers which had been broken were replaced. A com- 
mittee of historians from Duke University, the University of 
North Carolina, Davidson College, State College, and Wake 
Forest College prepared inscriptions for these markers after 
the necessary research had been done by Mr. William S. Powell, 
researcher for the State Department of Archives and History. 

At St. John's Episcopal Church in Williamsboro, Vance Coun- 
ty, on Sunday, June 12, a committee was appointed to work out 
plans for restoring and maintaining the old church. St. John's, 
a wooden structure, was built in 1757 and has been described by 
Mr. Thomas T. Waterman, a specialist on colonial architecture, 
as "the best example of colonial church woodwork in North 
Carolina." In connection with this restoration movement a picnic 
lunch was served on the grounds and the old church was opened 
to the public. 

Ceremonies in connection with the raising of the United States, 
the Confederate, and the state flags were held within the walls 
of Fort Macon on May 11. The A. M. Waddell Chapter of Lenoir 
County of the Daughters of the Confederacy were in charge of 
the ceremonies with Mrs. J. A. Jones presiding. Mrs. Junie 
Whitfield, the oldest living member of the chapter, was intro- 
duced to the gathering and Mrs. Quentin Gregory of Halifax 
made a brief talk. Songs popular in the Confederacy were sung 
by the Kinston Male Quartet. Mr. Thomas W. Morse, superin- 
tendent of State Parks, gave an historical address on Fort Macon 
and conducted a tour of the fort. 

Mr. Frank Meecham and Mr. J. Johnson of the State Museum, 
Dr. Christopher Crittenden and Mrs. Joye E. Jordan of the State 

376 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Department of Archives and History, and Miss Myrtle Arm- 
field of the Greensboro Historical Museum attended the forty- 
fourth annual meeting of the American Association of Museums 
in Chicago May 19, 20, and 21. 

The Hall of History of the State Department of Archives and 
History has received and placed on exhibit a spinning wheel and 
several pieces of colonial kitchen ware. 

During the past few months Dr. Christopher Crittenden has 
delivered the following addresses on historical and allied topics : 
On March 1 to the Lanier Book Club, Raleigh, on the museum and 
its possibilities ; on March 17 to the Johnston-Pettigrew Chapter, 
United Daughters of the Confederacy, on North Carolina's part 
in the War for Southern Independence; on April 26 to the His- 
torical Book Club, Greensboro, on the historic shrines of the 
state ; and on April 29 to the Wayne County Committee, Colonial 
Dames of America, on the same subject. 

The Battle of Elizabethtown Chapter, Daughters of the Ameri- 
can Revolution, on June 10 unveiled two historical markers, one 
in the town of Council, the other in Clarkton. At a luncheon fol- 
lowing the unveilings, Dr. Christopher Crittenden delivered an 
address on the state's historical marker program. 

On May 20 Mr. D. L. Corbitt of the State Department of Ar- 
chives and History delivered an address before the Lafayette 
Chapter of the Daughters of the Revolution. The meeting was 
held at the home of Mrs. Karl G. Hudson and the subject of the 
address was "Early Settlers in North Carolina." 

On June 12 Moon's Chapel in Chatham County celebrated its 
one hundredth anniversary. Mr. J. C. Canipe, a former pastor of 
the church, delivered the morning sermon after which a picnic 
lunch was served on the grounds. In the afternoon greetings 
from other churches and former pastors were presented, after 
which Mr. D. L. Corbitt of the State Department of Archives and 
History delivered an historical address. 

Historical News 377 

The General Assembly of North Carolina which convened in 
January appropriated for the State Department of Archives and 
History for the biennium beginning July 1, 1949 the following: 
For the year July 1, 1949, to June 30, 1950— $67,361, and for the 
year July 1, 1950, to June 30, 1951— $82,295. 

The Division of Manuscripts of the Library of Congress has 
received the following manuscripts : 

The papers of the late General "Billy" Mitchell, commander in 
World War I of United States aviation in France and subsequent- 
ly director of military aviation in the United States Army, which 
include his personal files as Assistant Chief of the Air Service, 
his diaries during World War I and later correspondence, and 
manuscripts of his books and articles on various aspects of avi- 
ation ; the papers of the late Sophonisba P. Breckinridge of the 
University of Chicago, which consist mainly of professional and 
personal correspondence from about 1902, when she began her 
distinguished career as a teacher of public welfare administra- 
tion at the University of Chicago, to the time of her death in 
1948, and include material on her trip to Montevideo in 1933 as 
United States delegate to the Congress of the Pan-American 
Union and on other similar assignments and correspondence with 
James Adams, Katharine Lenroot, Mary Anderson, and other 
leaders in civic and philanthropic work; the papers of Thomas 
Allen Jenckes (1818-1875), noted patent attorney and member 
of Congress from Rhode Island from 1863 to 1871, which include 
his extensive files as counsel in important patent litigation on 
rubber, refrigeration, and the steam engine, a group of papers 
relating to the Credit Mobilier investigation, and business letters 
received by him during the last twenty years of his life ; steno- 
graphic reports of the convention of the Conference for Pro- 
gressive Political Action, July 4-5, 1924, which nominated Sena- 
tor Robert M. LaFollette for President, and of the post-campaign 
convention held in Chicago on February 21 and 22, 1925 ; and a 
manuscript journal kept by Edward T. Tayloe while acting as 
secretary to Joel R. Poinsett in Mexico from 1825 to 1828, which 
contains descriptions of places visited, information about mining 
districts, and comments on the social and economic life of the 

378 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Books received include Albert Berry Saye, A Constitutional 
History of Georgia 1732-191+5 (Athens: The University of Geor- 
gia Press, 1948) ; Frank L. Owsley, Oliver P. Chitwood, and H. C. 
Nixon, A Short History of the American People (New York: D. 
Van Nostrand Company, 1948) ; Maurice Bear Gordon, M.D., 
Aesculapius Comes to the Colonies, The Story of the Early Days 
of Medicine in the Thirteen Original Colonies (Ventnor, New 
Jersey; Ventnor Publishers, Inc., 1949) ; Thomas H. Greer, 
American Social Reform Movements, Their Pattern Since 1865 
(New York: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1949) ; Sister Mary Anthonita 
Hess, American Tobacco and Central European Policy: A Dis- 
sertation. Early Nineteenth Century (Washington, D. C. : The 
Catholic University of America Press, 1948) ; William Bell Clark, 
Captain Dauntless, The Story of Nicholas Biddle of the Conti- 
nental Navy (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 
1949) ; Chalmers G. Davidson, Cloud Over Catawba (Charlotte, 
N. C. : The Mecklenburg Historical Society, 1949) ; Harvey 
Walker, Constructive Government in Ohio. The Story of the Ad- 
ministration of Governor Myers Y. Cooper, 1929-1930 (Colum- 
bus: The Ohio History Press, 1948); Rupert B. Vance, 
John E. Ivey, Jr., and Marjorie N. Bond, Exporing The South 
(Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1949) ; 
Sidney Walter Martin, Florida's Flagler (Athens: The Uni- 
versity of Georgia Press, 1949) ; Adelaide L. Fries, Mary 
Callum Wiley, Douglas L. Rights, Harvey Dinkins, Charles 
N. Siewers, Flora Ann Lee, Forsyth, A County on the March 
(Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1949) ; 
Fourteenth Annual Report of the Archivist of the United 
States, 191*7-191*8 (Washington: United States Government 
Printing Office, 1949) ; Douglas Southall Freeman, George 
Washington, Volume I and Volume II Young Washington 
(New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1948) ; Guide to the Rec- 
ords in the National Archives (Washington : United States Gov- 
ernment Printing Office, 1948) ; H. Allen Gosnell, Guns on the 
Western Waters: The Story of River Gunboats in the Civil War 
(Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1949) ; Wey- 
mouth T. Jordan, Hugh Davis and His Alabama Plantation (Uni- 
versity : University of Alabama Press, 1948) ; Humanistic Schol- 

Historical News 379 

arship in the South, A Survey of Work in Progress (Chapel Hill : 
University of North Carolina Press, 1948) ; Homer Carey Hock- 
ett, Introduction to Research in American History (New York: 
The Macmillan Company, 1948) ; Everett Walters, Joseph Ben- 
son Foraker, An Uncompromising Republican (Columbus: The 
Ohio History Press, 1948) ; Bill Mcllwain and Walt Frieden- 
berg, Legends of Baptist Holloiv (Wake Forest, N. C. : Delta 
Publishing Company, 1949) ; Norma B. Cuthbreth, Lincoln and 
The Baltimore Plot, 1861, from Pinkerton Records and Related 
Papers (San Marino, California: The Huntington Library, 
1949) ; Thomas Wolfe, Mannerhouse A Play in Prologue and 
Three Acts (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1948) ; Earl D. 
Babst and Lewis G. Vander Velde, Michigan and the Cleveland 
Era (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1948) ; 
Ninth Annual Report of the Archivist of the United States on the 
Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, 1947-194-8 (Washington: United 
States Government Printing Office, 1949) ; John Drury, Old 
Illinois Houses (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Society, 
1948) ; Gilbert Courtland Fite, Peter Norbeck: Prarie Statesman. 
Vol. XXII, The University of Missouri Studies, no, 2. (Columbia : 
The University of Missouri, 1948) ; Rollin G. Osterweis, Roman- 
ticism and Nationalism in the Old South (New Haven : Yale Uni- 
versity Press, 1949) ; Thomas D. Clark, The Rural Press and the 
New South (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 
1948) ; Floyd C. Shoemaker, The State Historical Society of Mis- 
souri: A Semicentennial History, 1898-1948 (Columbia: The 
State Historical Society of Missouri, 1948) ; George I. Oeste, 
Teaching Local History in Today's World (Philadelphia: Middle 
States Council for the Social Studies) ; James Hart, The Ameri- 
can Presidency in Action, 1789 (New York : The Macmillan Com- 
pany) ; Wesley Frank Craven, The Army Air Forces in World 
War II, Plans and Early Operations, January 1939 to August 
1942. Vol. I (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1948) ; 
0. T. Brinkely, The Churches and the Social Conscience (Indian- 
apolis, Indiana: National Foundation Press, 1948) ; Paul Green, 
The Common Glory (Chapel Hill: The University of North Caro- 
lina Press, 1948) ; John Hardin, The Devil's Tramping Ground 
and Other North Carolina Mystery Stories (Chapel Hill: The 

380 The North Carolina Historical Review 

University of North Carolina Press, 1949) ; James Etheridge 
Callaway, The Early Settlement of Georgia (Athens: The Uni- 
versity of Georgia Press, 1948) ; Roy Bird Cook, The Family and 
Early Life of Stonewall Jackson (Charleston, West Virginia: 
Department of Archives and History, 1948) ; Robert A. Lively, 
The South in Action. A Sectional Crusade Against Freight Rate 
Discrimination (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina 
Press, 1949) ; Wesley Frank Craven, The Southern Colonies in 
the Seventeenth Century, 1607-1689 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana 
State University Press and the Littlefield Fund For Southern 
History of the University of Texas, 1949) ; Joseph C. Robert, 
The Story of Tobacco In America (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 
Inc., 1949) ; Clarence Edwin Carter, The Territorial Papers of 
the United States, The Territory of Illinois 1809 -181 b, Volume 
XVI (Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 
1948) ; Paul Murray, The Whig Party in Georgia (Chapel Hill: 
The University of North Carolina Press, 1948) ; Phillips Rus- 
sell, The Woman Who Rang the Bell. The Story of Cornelia 
Phillips Spencer (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina 
Press, 1949) ; Ray Allen Billington, Westward Expansion, A His- 
tory of the American Frontier (New York: The Macmillan Com- 
pany, 1949). 


Miss Madeleine B. Stern is associated with the rare book firm 
of Leona Rostenberg in New York. She is the author of The Life 
of Margaret Fuller and her adress is 317 West 99 Street, New 
York 25, New York. 

Mrs. Eddie W. Wilson is a retired public school teacher and 
librarian and author of The Gourd in Folk Literature, Her ad- 
dress is Box 966, Los Angeles 53, California. 

Dr. Mary Elizabeth Massey is an assistant professor of history 
at Washington College, Chestertown, Maryland. 

Mr. William S. Powell is researcher for the Historical Marker 
Program of the State Department of Archives and History, 
Raleigh, N. C. 

) J 1 > , » » 

■> • ■ 

) , J 1 » • J > 

> . J > > • 

The North Carolina 
Historical Review 

Volume XXVI OCTOBER, 1949 Number 4 



By William N. Chambers 

For the nearly forty years of his national political career, the 
name of Senator Thomas Hart Benton (1782-1858) was famous 
among Americans. His contemporaries thought him the peer of 
Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, and Daniel Webster, 1 and he com- 
manded more admiration than a number of Presidents. Before 
he died, he wrote two bulky volumes about his work and his 
times. The national Democratic newspaper of his day said in 
an obituary that his doings were as familiar to the country as 
household words. 2 He deserved renown, and he had it. 

Yet his origins were little known to his contemporaries, and 
they are less known today. He was born in central North Caro- 
lina — but what sort of people were his parents ? What was their 
status in the community, and how did this influence the growing 
boy ? What sort of up-bringing did he receive ? What significant 
events marked his formative years? All these early influences 
which go so far to make a man have remained obscure, and his 
biographers have done little to clarify matters. They have either 
romanticized his early life, have so mixed fact and legend as to 
make the pattern unintelligible, or have glossed over it. 3 

1 Compare W. V. N. Bay, Reminiscences of the Bench and Bar of Missouri ( St. Louis, 
1878), 3-4; John Wentworth, Congressional Reminiscences, Adams, Benton, Calhoun, Clay 
and Webster (Chicago, 1882), 16; Daniel M. Grissom, "Personal Recollections of Distinguished 
Missourians," Missouri Historical Review, XVIII (January, 1924), 129. 

2 Washington Daily Union, April 11, 1858. 

8 Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas H. Benton (Boston, 1899); William M. Meigs, Life of Thomas 
Hart Benton (Philadelphia, 1904); Joseph M. Rogers, Thomas Hart Benton (Philadelphia, 


386 The North Carolina Historical Review 


The cobblestones with which Lord Cornwallis had paved the 
muddy streets of Hillsborough, North Carolina, had been there 
less than a year when Thomas Hart Benton was born near that 
village. It was March 14, 1782, 4 and there was already a dash 
of spring in the Piedmont air. The boy's parents were Jesse 
Benton, lawyer, and his Virginia-born wife, Ann Gooch Benton, 
whose husband always called her Nancy. The black-shocked, 
lusty infant with the over-sized head was the Bentons' third 
child. 5 But he was the first son and his mother's favorite from 
the moment of his birth up to her death. 

The house in which young Thomas was born lay on the right 
bank of the Eno River about three miles west of Hillsborough. 
Here the Bentons had a little plantation, 174 acres, 6 which rose 
from the rushing, rock-choked stream and merged into the dark 
mass of the woods. 7 All around were the undulating hills which 
marked the beginning of the Piedmont, and far to the west be- 
yond the Occoneechee Mountains lay the great Blue Ridge itself. 
The Eno ran through a pleasant, fertile valley then, with great 
trees overhanging the stream and rhododenron dotting the land- 
scape with pink and white flowers. 8 The land was a rich red 
clay, with black soil in the bottoms. 

The village itself was nearly thirty years old when Thomas was 
born. It was a thriving spot, which was the commercial center 
of the central region — named by Governor William Tryon after 
the Earl of Hillsborough. There were about 300 men, women, 
and children there, nearly a quarter of them Negro slaves. 9 By 
Revolutionary times, it was the southwestern terminus of the 
long road that ran down from Boston, through Baltimore and 
Richmond. 10 

4 Thomas H. Benton, "Auto-Biographical Sketch," in Thirty Years View, or, A History of 
the Working of the American Government for Thirty Years, from 1820 to 1850 (New York, 
1883), I, p. i. 

5 Compare Jesse Benton to Thomas Hart, April 3, 1786, in Thomas J. Clay Papers, Library 
of Congress, Washington. 

8 Compare An Inventory of the Estate of Jesse Benton for the Year 1781, in Jesse Benton 
Papers, North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh. In this document, the 
plot on the Eno is given a greater value — £1218 — than other larger holdings, which sug- 
gests that it was improved, and thus the family homestead. Local tradition around Hillsboro, 
as outlined to me by Mr. E. M. Lynch, clerk of the superior court, also assigns this spot as 
the Thomas H. Benton birthplace. It seems unlikely that the Bentons owned or lived at 
Hart's Mill, across the river, earlier than the end of 1782 or the first part of 1783. 

7 Alfred Waddell Moore, Some Memories of My Life (Raleigh, 1908), 8. 

8 Francis Nash, Hillsboro: Colonial and Revolutionary (Raleigh, 1903), 5-6. 

9 Nash, Hillsboro, 89. 

10 James Truslow Adams, ed. f Atlas of American History (New York, 1943), plate 55. 

The Family of Thomas Hart Benton 387 

It was wonderful country, the North Carolina Piedmont, and 
the infant Benton "belonged' ' in it. His very name bespoke his 
roots in the life and tradition of the middle section. He was 
christened by his Episcopalian parents 11 after a leader in the 
community, his uncle Colonel Thomas Hart, gentleman, land 
speculator, and his mother's guardian and protector since her 
girlhood. 12 In addition his direct ancestors were prominent men 
in the central region, and the boy grew into manhood with the 
consciousness that his grandfather and his father too were men 
of mark in their own community. 13 

The grandfather, Samuel Benton, Esquire, had been an early 
settler in the Piedmont. He came, not up from the rich Tide- 
water plantation country to the east, but down from Virginia to 
the north, part of the current of vigorous English and Scotch- 
Irish settlers that swept into the province in the middle 1700s. 14 
He had the touch of Midas in him, and he worked steadily at the 
business of establishing a fortune and status for himself and his 

By 1752 Samuel gloried in the office of justice of the peace for 
Granville County. 15 This was an important post in a huge area 
which covered most of the then-central part of the province of 
North Carolina. Under the reign of King George the Second, 
the North Carolina colonial JPs were the little lords of the neigh- 
borhood. They not only judged minor cases at law, but they ad- 
ministered the affairs of the county, had a hand in setting tax 
rates, managed the roads, ferries, and the construction of public 
buildings, and indirectly dispensed lucrative patronage in the 
sheriffs' and court offices. A JP's job was a source of profit, 
and in addition the JPs were at the center of the then-ruling 
political squirearchy. 16 

To be sure, Samuel Benton's career was not an uninterrupted 
success story. A reappointment as justice in July, 1756, found 

11 Benton, "Auto-Biographical Sketch," p. i. 

12 Benton, "Autobiographical Sketch," p. i. 

13 Benton, Thirty Years View, I, 57, 77, 98, 118, ff. 

14 Archibald Henderson, North Carolina, the Old North State and the Netv (Chicago, 1941), 
II, 40. 

15 William K. Boyd, "Some North Carolina Tracts of the Eighteenth Century," North Caro- 
lina Historical Review, III (January, 1926), 54. 

ia Nannie May Tilley, "Political Disturbances in Colonial Granville County," North Caro- 
lina Historical Review, XVIII (October, 1941), 340, 342. 

388 The North Carolina Historical Review 

him in gaol, where he felt it necessary to refuse a job. 17 His 
offense was, presumably, debt. 18 

But this mischance seemed merely to stiffen the man with 
greater determination, for by 1760 he was restored to his place 
as a justice of the peace. In addition, he was elected a member 
of the provincial assembly and was seated — even though that 
body thought the sheriff of Granville had come close to fraud 
when he summed up the returns. 19 From that year on it was up, 
up, up for Samuel. Soon he was both clerk of superior court and 
register of deeds for Granville County, 20 jobs which paid wonder- 
fully well and gave a man opportunities on the side. At the same 
time, he established himself as a landed gentleman on a large 
plantation in the western part of the county. 21 

In a few short years, Thomas Benton's grandfather was a 
powerful factor in the politics of colonial Granville, smiled on by 
the royal governor, active in the assembly, and boss of the court- 
house ring. 22 

In the legislature, assemblyman-clerk-register Samuel Benton's 
activity was largely in his own self-interest. This was nothing 
unusual, for the colonial legislators generally managed to turn 
their positions to advantage in land speculations or other busi- 
ness affairs. Samuel's great coup came in 1764, when he brought 
in a bill to divide Granville County and set up a new county seat 
in the part in which he lived. With a little log-rolling, he got 
the measure passed, 23 and a commission established to get the 
job done, with its head man turning out to be assemblyman 
Samuel Benton. The commission was given broad authority. It 
was to receive the proceeds of a special tax and was to contract 
with workmen to build a courthouse, prison, pillory, and stocks. 24 
It promptly selected for the new town a plot called Oxford, which 
happened to belong to Commissioner Samuel Benton. At one 
neat stroke Samuel inflated the value of his land and assured 
himself sales to the county and to the horde of tradesmen, law- 

17 William L. Saunders, ed., The Colonial Records of North Carolina, V, 591. 
M Compare George Sims, "An Address to the People of Granville County," June 6, 1765, 
North Carolina Historical Review, III (January, 1926), 62. 

19 Saunders, Colonial Records, VI, 343, 399, 405. 

20 Tilley, "Political Disturbances in Colonial Granville County," 342. 

21 Will of Samuel Benton, February 18, 1770, proved April term, 1770, in Wills, 1746-1771, 
Granville County, North Carolina, Oxford. 

22 Tilley, "Political Disturbances in Colonial Granville County," 353, 357. 

23 Saunders, Colonial Records, VI, 1157-1158. 

2 < Walter Clark, ed., The State Records of North Carolina, XXIII, 626, 627. 

The Family of Thomas Hart Benton 389 

yers and officials who were bound to settle at the new court 
town. 25 

Meanwhile he was making a good thing out of his posts as 
clerk of superior court and register of deeds. Everyone with 
legal business had to come to the new courthouse on Samuel 
Benton's estate, and once there they had to pay Samuel Benton 
a fee, usually large, to get their work done. 26 

This sort of thing did not pass without protest. The angry, 
aggrieved common folk of the back country resented the exces- 
sive and irregular fees they were charged by the courthouse 
rings, they resented the overbearing conduct of the aristocracy 
of land and political pull, they resented the little deals their 
betters arranged among themselves. Soon a movement of re- 
venge swept the central counties — "The Regulation." 27 Of 
Samuel Benton's fellow-assemblyman and friend Edmund Fan- 
ning of Orange County, 28 the Regulators sang — 

When Fanning first to Orange came, 

Both man and mare warn't worth five pounds, 

As Fve been often told. 

But by his civil robberies 

He's laced his coat with gold. 

The charges against Thomas's grandfather were more specific. 
A Regulation spokesman noted that when he was taken out of 
debtor's prison, "or what was next door to it," and sent to the 
assembly, he was expected to be "a poor man's Burgess" — but in 
fact, all his acts there had been "for that dear self of his." As 
clerk Benton, he was little more than a "pick-pocket." For 
entering a bond on the "doquet," for "the work of one long 
minute," he charged whatever fee he pleased. He then added 
insult by offering the poor man before him a chance to pay by a 
month's labor on his Oxford plantation! He maneuvered in the 
assembly, he built the courthouse for Granville, he traded on his 
offices, all to bring grist to his own mill. 29 

Before long the enraged Regulators took up clubs, sticks, and 
guns to enforce their demands for fair play. The new royal 

35 Tilley, "Political Disturbances in Colonial Granville County," 350. 

26 Sims, "Address to the People of Granville County," 63. 

^Henderson, North Carolina, the Old North State and the New, I, 207-223. 

28 Compare Saunders, Colonial Records, VII, 300, 326, 327. 

"Sims, "Address to the People of Granville County," 62-65, 

390 The North Carolina Historical Review 

governor, William Tryon, called a council of war at Camp Hills- 
borough in September, 1768, to "keep the peace" — and among 
the officers present was one Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Benton. 
The council soon agreed on a plan. The Regulators must lay 
down their arms, pay their taxes, and deliver nine of their lead- 
ers to be dealt with according to law— whereupon pardon would 
follow for the rest. 30 

This settled the matter for the moment 31 and well-to-do men 
like Samuel, Edmund Fanning, and the rest could sleep again 
nights, though they never really rested until six of the Regu- 
lator leaders were hanged. 

But he was not all land grabber and political jobber, assembly- 
man-clerk-colonel Samuel Benton Esquire. He had a moral 
sense, at least when it came to matters like "excessive and De- 
ceitful Gaming," and he introduced a bill in the assembly to 
prevent such dastardly goings-on. 32 And he was not only a man 
of property, he was a man of culture too. He had a library wide- 
ly known as one of the best in the whole wide reach of Granville 
County, 33 and he paid at least a verbal tribute to learning when 
he named his plantation Oxford. 34 

This was Thomas Benton's grandfather — "Gent.," a stupor 
mundi of local politics and personal aggrandizement, political 
boss, conservative, cultured, not too scrupulous, but moral as 
morality ran in the place and time, and above all able, sure, and 

By his wife Frances, Samuel Benton had three sons whom he 
named Jesse, Samuel Junior, and Augustine. When he died in 
1770 he left his wife and his children a considerable estate, mak- 
ing Jesse, as the oldest, executor but leaving the bulk of land and 
slaves to young Samuel for the family's use. Jesse received a 

30 Saunders, Colonial Records, VII, 842. 

31 Henderson, North Carolina, the Old North State and the Neio, I, 223. 

32 Saunders, Colonial Records, VI, 817. 

33 Henderson, North Carolina, the Old North State and the Neiv, I, 522. 

34 His neighbors believed that Samuel Benton had been educated at Oxford, England, and 
certainly the name he gave his plantation lent credence to this idea. (Compare Henderson, 
North Carolina, the Old North State and the New, I, 522.) But a careful investigation of 
the records at Oxford fails to show that any Samuel Benton ever matriculated there, though 
a Joseph Benton and a Thomas Benton, sons of Samuel Benton of Kings Norton, County 
Worcester, England, did attend the University about 1720 (letter from William Reaves to 
writer, Oxford, July 22, 1948). In addition, the University Registry states that no Samuel 
Benton appears on the Registrar's books (letter from C. H. Paterson, Assistant Registrar, 
to writer, Oxford University, May 29, 1948). Anyone is welcome to speculate that Samuel 
of North Carolina was the grandson of Samuel of Kings Norton through either Joseph or 
Thomas — but it is only a possibility and no more. 

The Family of Thomas Hart Benton 391 

special bequest of Samuel's case of pistols and ten pounds to 
buy a sword. 35 

Old Samuel Benton had built well, and his family was secure 
and respected. If his son Jesse was not the father's equal in pil- 
ing pound on pound, he was still no ne'er-do-well and was per- 
haps Samuel's superior at the early American game of piling 
acre on acre. 

Shortly after his father's death, Jesse was at Hillsborough in 
Orange County, where he found a revived Regulator movement 
haunting the homes of the well-to-do. As a man of property and 
position, Jesse had no more sympathy with this protesting, demo- 
cratic movement than his father had had, and he promptly sign- 
ed up with an opposing group of "Redressors." The Regulation 
was subversive, according to the Redressors, and showed "a 
spirit of licentiousness sedition & Riot," abhorrent to all "true & 
faithful subjects of our Sovereign Lord King George the third." 
The Redressors included Edmund Fanning of the gold-laced coat, 
Thomas Hart, Thomas Henderson, and fifty-seven others. 36 

Still the protestors were not cowed. They had practically 
taken over the Orange courthouse at the trial of their leaders 
under Judge Richard Henderson in September, and they had 
beaten up a number of their favorite enemies in Hillsborough 
including Thomas Hart. 37 No manifesto would subdue them, 
and they were not finally put down until Governor Tryon brought 
up troops at Alamance in 1771. 38 

Though Jesse fought the Regulation, he was not an aggressive 
man, and he never tried to make as much of a public career as 
Samuel had done. When his father died, he inherited the post 
of register for Granville County, 39 which he worked for what it 
was worth at least a few years, while at the same time he man- 
aged to handle the clerkship of Surry County. 40 But he looked 
to his offices merely for a steady income, and turned in other 
directions to improve his position and that of his family. He 
was a lawyer, and an able one who worked steadily at his pro- 
fession and took pride in it. 41 His great field, though, was 

35 Will of Samuel Benton, Februai-y 18, 1770, in Wills, Granville County, North Carolina. 
88 Saunders, Colonial Records, VII, 273-274. 

87 Nash, Hillsboro, 15-16. 

88 Henderson, North Carolina, the Old North State and the New, I, 240-241. 
39 Tilley, "Political Disturbances in Colonial Granville County," 352. 

40 Saunders, Colonial Records, IX, 298. 

41 Benton, "Auto-Biographical Sketch," p. i. 

392 The North Carolina Historical Review 

speculating in land, particularly in the far-western part of the 
province in what later became Tennessee. 

His first venture was as a partner in the Transylvania Com- 
pany. Jesse put in what cash and talents he had, along with the 
Richard Henderson who had presided at the Regulator trial, 
Thomas Hart, Charles Robertson, and one Daniel Boone. The 
Transylvania was one of many land companies that appeared 
in the wake of colonial rule. These companies were designed to 
make fortunes for their leaders, but at the same time they played 
a big part in exploring the West, surveying the unknown Indian 
country beyond the mountains, and taking colonies of settlers 
into the new land. If the great patrons were not exactly pioneers 
themselves, they at least stood behind the "goers" who actually 
settled beyond the frontier. 42 

The great exploit of the Transylvania Company was the 
Watauga Purchase. In 1775 a group including Jesse Benton set 
out from the Piedmont toward Sycamore Shoals, in the wild 
mountain country, on a stream whose waters flowed finally into 
the Tennessee and then down the Mississippi. No adventure- 
lover, Jesse went out of a determination to provide for his fam- 
ily. In the middle of March the travellers met O-con-os-to-ta, 
chief warrior and first representative of the Cherokee Nation, 
and other feathered and painted Indian chiefs. The necessary 
ceremonies were observed, Jesse Benton read a legal paper to the 
assembled warriors, and the Carolinians purchased for two 
thousand pounds, "lawful money of Great Britain/' a vast, rich, 
untouched empire of fertile western land. 43 The tract included 
the whole of the Cumberland River Valley west of Cumberland 
Gap in what later became Tennessee, and about two-thirds of 
what became Kentucky. 44 

At the end of 1775, Jesse Benton was in the West again — he 
had interests on the Green River in Kentucky as well as on the 
Cumberland. 45 He went with a company of Transylvanians 
through the winding narrows of the Cumberland Gap, and up 
Daniel Boone's Wilderness Road to the outpost of Boone's Station 

42 Henderson, North Carolina, the Old North State and the New, I, 254, 270, ff. 

43 Indenture of the Watauga Purchase, March 19, 1775, Office of the Register of Washington 
County, Jonesboro, Tennessee. 

44 Compare Adams, ed., Atlas of American History, plate 60-61. 

45 Compare Jesse Benton to Thomas Hart, Hartford, June 20, 1784, Thomas J. Clay Papers, 
Library of Congress. 

The Family of Thomas Hart Benton 393 

on the Kentucky River. Just before Christmas a party went 
out to kill turkeys for the next day, but they never returned ; the 
Indians fell upon them and scalped them. After the holiday 
Jesse Benton was sent out with fifteen men to scour the woods for 
Indians for thirty miles around. 46 Though each man was offered 
a bounty of five pounds for each Indian scalp he brought back, 
the rangers returned four days later convinced the marauders 
had run away to the north. 47 

But Jesse preferred his home and his books to wandering in 
the West. A reserved, scholarly man, he particularly cherished 
his volumes in Greek, Latin, French, Spanish, and English, 
ranging from Homer through Shakespeare and Cervantes to 
Madame de Sevigne, 48 and his library, like his father's, was one 
of the finest in the Piedmont. 49 

Meanwhile, beginning with news of war at Lexington and 
Concord, a great revolution began its course through the sea- 
board colonies. In the wake of these stirring events, Jesse 
Benton managed to remain comparatively calm. No passion for 
liberty overwhelmed him when a Mecklenburg County, North 
Carolina, committee adopted resolutions against royal rule in 
May, 1775 ; 50 and for years Jesse sat the Revolution out, looking 
after his law business and looking after his land speculations. 
He was never quite a tory, though his conservative outlook 51 in- 
clined him in that direction. 52 But he was no flaming patriot 
either, though his sympathies finally fell with the new American 
cause. 53 

While the battle see-sawed in New York, New Jersey, and 
in the Carolinas, Jesse established his family. Sometime in the 
1770s he married his friend Thomas Hart's niece, Ann Gooch of 
Virginia, 54 and by the end of the decade the couple had two 

46 Thomas H. Benton to ( — ?), Washington, January 9, 1854, Draper Correspondence, 
Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison. 

47 Saunders, Colonial Records, X, 382, 386. 

48 Jessie Benton Fremont, "Biographical Sketch of Senator Benton in Connection with 
Western Expansion," in John Charles Fremont, Memoirs of My Life (Chicago, 1887), I, 2, 3. 

49 Henderson, North Carolina, the Old North State and the New, I, 573. 

60 Henderson, North Carolina, the Old North State and the New, I, viii-xii, 295-298. 

61 Compare Jessie Benton Fremont, "Senator Thomas H. Benton," in The Independent, LV 
(January 29, 1903), 241. 

52 Jesse Benton to Thomas Hart, Hartford, March 22, 1783, Thomas J. Clay Papers, 
Library of Congress. 

53 Jesse Benton to Thomas Hart, "Enoe," September 29, 1781, Thomas J. Clay Papers, 
Library of Congress. 

54 Sarah S. Young, Genealogical Narrative of the Hart Family in the United States (Mem- 
phis, 1882), 4, 78. 

394 The North Carolina Historical Review 

daughters living whom they named Margaret or Peggy and 
Mary or Polly. 55 

By 1780 it was getting harder and harder for a North Caro- 
linian to stay outside the fight. In a final, doomed attempt to 
crush the rebellion, the British launched an attack at Charleston, 
and the fighting ranged north past Cowpens to Guilford Court- 
house and into Hillsborough itself. 56 But when Lord Cornwallis 
marched into Hillsborough in February, 1781, and paved the 
streets so his artillery would not bog down, 57 Jesse Benton's chief 
concern was for his property. He was lucky enough to save 
everything from the troops, except 110 gallons of brandy, 60 
pounds of brown sugar, and "some Juggs bottles and other 
Trifles which they plundered." 58 

Finally, however, Thomas Benton's father was drawn into the 
struggle. He watched with growing concern what was happen- 
ing, formed his opinions, 59 and in July, 1781, he was elected to 
the state assembly. 60 

As an assemblyman, Jesse was one of five members of a com- 
mittee named to raise a militia to support the patriot army. 61 
He served at a time when issues of paper money had created a 
terrifying inflation. Despite his interest in property values, he 
was one of a majority to vote against a bill which would have 
empowered juries to favor or protect creditors against debtors 
by allowing for depreciation on Continental and state paper and 
adjusting the amounts of debts accordingly. 62 For his labors 
in the July session, at Wake Courthouse, Jesse received £2900— 
in debased paper currency. 63 

This one month was the measure of Jesse Benton's service as 
an assemblyman. It was not a distinguished service, though 
Jesse worked with and became friendly with a young man named 
Nathaniel Macon, 64 who later became North Carolina's most 
respected statesman. 

■ Jesse Benton to Thomas Hart, Hillsborough, April 3, 1786, Thomas J. Clay Papers, 
Library of Congress. 

r, ° Henderson, North Carolina, the Old North State and the New, I, 346-467. 

57 Nash, Hillaboro, 50, 66, 83. 

M Jesse Benton to Thomas Hart, Hillsborough, June 4, 1781, in Thomas J. Clay Papers, 
Library of Congress. 

™ Compare Jesse Benton to Thomas Hart, December 23, 1780, August 21, 1781, etc., in 
Thomas J. Clay Papers, Library of Congress. 

80 Clark, State Records, XVII, 886-887. 
01 Clark, State Records, XVII, 883. 

"- Clark, State Records, XVII, 947. 

83 Clark, State Records, XIX, 392, and compare p. 395. 

81 Benton, Thirty Years View, I, 57. 

The Family of Thomas Hart Benton 395 

All this time Jesse had been building his estate. A careful, 
businesslike man with a flair for detail, and a highly developed 
sense of property and position, 65 he could by the spring of 1781 
take pride in owning the Eno plantation, valued at £1218, and 
some 1159 acres in other parts of the state, ten Negro slaves 
young and old, one black horse and one sorrel gelding, thirty head 
of cattle, and miscellaneous household property. He valued the 
whole estate at £9470, specie. But he was, like so many others 
of his time and place, land- and chattels-rich and money-poor — he 
could not recollect that he had in April, 1781, any money on 
hand. 66 

By fall Jesse was finally active against the tories in the Pied- 
mont. Ranging bands had been making life miserable for people 
from Wilmington to Hillsborough, 67 plundering property and 
kidnapping solid citizens who were patriots — and finally some- 
thing had to be done. In September Jesse was one of a hundred 
men who went out with his friend, Colonel Thomas Taylor. The 
volunteers found the tory camp and called on General Butler, who 
brought his troops to the spot and defeated the tories totally at 
Linley's Mill. 68 

This was Thomas Benton's father — quiet, conservative, with a 
strong sense of property, fastidious, cultured, reserved but in- 
terested in public affairs, and deeply devoted to his family and 
their future. 69 

65 Compare letters of Jesse Benton to Thomas Hart, 1780-1790, Thomas J. Clay Papers, 
Library of Congress. 

68 An Inventory of the Estate of Jesse Benton for the Year 1781, in Jesse Benton Papers, 
North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh. 

87 Jesse Benton to Thomas Hart, "Enoe," August 21, 1781, Thomas J. Clay Papers, Library 
of Congress. 

88 Jesse Benton to Thomas Hart, "Enoe," September 29, 1781, Thomas J. Clay Papers, 
Library of Congress. 

69 The story has been widely circulated that Jesse Benton was the first of his line in 
America, and that he came over from England with Governor Tryon in 1765 and was his 
private secretary. Apparently this tale had its origins with Jesse's granddaughter and name- 
sake (Fremont, "Biographical Sketch," 1), and it is repeated in the standard biography 
(Meigs, Benton, 13-16), and parroted in the biographical dictionaries and encyclopedias. It 
is a delightful story — Meigs even gives us a picture of a myopic Jesse leaving cloistered 
student ways in England, driven by illness or poverty, to adventure into a rough frontier 
life which he never understood or assimilated. All this, despite the fact that Thomas Benton 
in his memoir makes several references to his paternal grandfather in North Carolina 
(Benton, View, I, 57, 77, 98, 118)! In his careful way, the chief biographer (Meigs, 
Benton, 16), observes these but opines that Benton was suffering from a slip of memory. 
None of the biographers bothered to check North Carolina records, though the main body of 
these records was available in published form at least by the time Meigs wrote. 

The facts of Samuel's career and Jesse's descent are well established, and there is no doubt 
that Jesse was not the family founder in America. As to Jesse's having been Governor 
Tryon's secretary, the writer has found no reference to this in the North Carolina records, 
though other men are listed as secretaries; no reference appears to any such position in any 
of Jesse Benton's letters available today; and Thomas Benton nowhere notes that his father 
held such a post. Silence of the records is of course no proof that Jesse was not Governor 
Tryon's secretary, but on the other hand there is no proof that he was, either; on the whole, 
it seems extremely unlikely. 

396 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The girl Jesse Benton married came from a distinguished Vir- 
ginia line, with an aristocratic tradition. The only child of James 
Gooch, younger brother of Sir William Gooch, royal governor of 
Virginia from 1727 to 1749, 70 and of Ann Hart, whose family 
had settled in America in 1690, 71 Ann Gooch was born in Hanover 
County in central Virginia. 72 A lovely brown-haired, bright-eyed 
lass, she was twenty-four when Thomas was born. 73 She adored 
her quiet, gentle husband and was devoted to her family, and 
her charming presence and stately beauty 74 clothed a character 
and determination upon which time after time that family de- 
pended. 75 She was a devout, practicing member of the Episcopal 
church, with a strong dislike for gaming, drinking, and smoking. 76 
But if she was a manager and straightlaced, she was also a warm, 
delightful companion who shared her husband's love of reading, 
and Jesse always called her by her pet name Nancy rather than 
by the formal name Ann. 77 

When she was a child, Ann Hart's parents died. She was 
reared thereafter by her uncle Thomas Hart, and she was in 
truth more Hart than Gooch. It was her uncle who brought her 
from Hanover County to North Carolina after 1760, when she 
was hardly old enough to talk, and it was her uncle who watched 
over her until she married Jesse. 78 This uncle was a prominent 
man in colonial North Carolina, and the infant Benton could be 
proud to bear his name. Not only was he a partner in the Tran- 
sylvania Company, but he served as sheriff of Orange County in 
1763, was the Orange delegate to the first North Carolina revo- 
lutionary convention in 1774, 79 and was a colonel in the Revo- 
lutionary Army. 80 His extensive business interests in land and 
in other property ramified throughout Orange County and be- 
yond. 81 

These were the forebears of Thomas Hart Benton. 

70 Fremont, "Senator Thomas H. Benton," 241. 

71 Young, Genealogical Narrative, 78. 

72 Benton, "Auto-Biographical Sketch," p. i. 

78 Compare burial records, Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis. 

74 Fremont, "Biographical Sketch," 3. 

75 Compare Nancy Benton to Thomas Hart, Hartford, September 25, 1792, Thomas J. Clay 
Papers, Library of Congress. 

76 "Remarks of Thomas H. Benton at the New England Celebration in New York," Wash- 
ington National Intelligencer, December 25, 1856. 

77 Compare will of Jesse Benton, in Wills, Orange County, 1753-1819, State Department of 
Archives and History, Raleigh. 

78 Young, Genealogical Narrative, 78. 
7G Nash, Hillaboro, 8, 38. 

80 Young, Genealogical Narrative, 5. 

81 Compare letters of Jesse Benton to Thomas Hart, 1780-1790, Thomas J. Clay Papers, 
Library of Congress. 

The Family of Thomas Hart Benton 397 


The Eno Valley was a pleasant place to raise a child, and the 
infant Thomas Benton flourished in the heady Piedmont air and 
the spring and summer sunshine. The boy's mother sang to him 
and nursed him. She was aided in the chores of tending the baby 
by Milly, a Negro girl of twelve who was in training as a house 
slave, 82 and as the boy grew he could find a baby-hood companion 
in the slave Betsey who was born eighteen months before he 
was. 83 And little Thomas's big sisters Peggy and Polly were 
there to pet him and help teach him his first words. 84 But he was 
closest to his happy, capable mother, 85 who guided him through 
the little stages of growing up and took such pride in him al- 
ways. 86 

When Thomas was about six months old, his family moved 
across the Eno to a larger plantation called Hartford. This 
plot, with its 215 acres 87 and its grist mill, fulling mill, and oil 
mill beside the stream, had belonged to Thomas Hart and had 
been sold to Jesse Benton on a sort of installment basis. It had 
wide fields for farming, but neither the fields nor the mill pro- 
duced much during the fall and winter of 1782-1783. It was 
a most fatal hard year, Jesse thought, without water to run the 
mills or bring up the crops, 88 and the Bentons were lucky to be 
all in health and to have enough grist from their stones to give 
the family bread. 89 

Still, the family could enjoy the larger place and the fine planta- 
tion house. The frame building was surrounded by a grove of 
oaks, and there was a path to a bubbling spring in the rear of 
the house and the orchard beyond. Past that there was the dark 
mass of pines for a background. 90 

By the time Thomas was a year old, hard times were really at 
hand. The crops were poor or lost altogether, and many families 

82 Compare will of Jesse Benton, in Wills, Orange County, State Department of Archives 
and History, Raleigh. 

83 Compare An Inventory of the Estate of Jesse Benton for 1781, Jesse Benton Papers, 
State Department of Archives and History, Raleigh. 

84 Jesse Benton to Thomas Hart, Hartford, April 3, 1786, Thomas J. Clay Papers, Library 
of Congress. 

85 Fremont, "Biographical Sketch," 3. 

86 Compare Benton, "Auto-Biographical Sketch," p. i. 

87 Jesse Benton's Taxable Property of 1788, Orange County Records, State Department of 
Archives and History, Raleigh. 

88 Jesse Benton to Thomas Hart, December 4, 1782, in Thomas J. Clay Papers, Library 
of Congress. 

89 Jesse Benton to Thomas Hart, Hartford, March 22, 1783, in Thomas J. Clay Papers, 
Library of Congress. 

80 Moore, Some Memories of My Life, 8. 

398 The North Carolina Historical Review 

had to go fifty or sixty miles for bread, while their debts mount- 
ed. Lawyer Benton was commissioned to collect moneys owed 
Thomas Hart, who had moved to Maryland, but he was indulging 
many small debtors because of the hard times. He wondered 
where he himself was to get the money to meet a payment on 
Hartford and make repairs to the mill and the house. For that 
year, at least, he was happy with his clerkship, which he thought 
was "the best Mill I own" — it brought him a steady return of 
£150 a year, specie, exclusive of bad fees. 91 

But the family did not despair. By the end of the summer, 
Hartford was bringing in an income, though Jesse had to sell 
some Negroes to make ends meet. 92 

As he grew old enough to know he had a father as well as a 
mother, Thomas had to learn to accept the fact that Jesse was 
away from home sometimes. In addition to his extensive busi- 
ness looking after the holdings of Thomas Hart, his profession 
carried him around the county court circuit and to other courts 
in the Old North State. 93 But the boy had a constant companion 
in Nancy, and as the years passed there were younger brothers 
and sisters with whom he could play. Young Thomas learned to 
get along with a Jesse, Jr., with little Nancy, with young Samuel, 
and finally with Nathaniel and Susannah. 94 Under Nancy Ann's 
teaching the brothers and sisters grew into a close and affection- 
ate group. 95 

Once when Thomas was still a child, a young lawyer named 
Andrew Jackson stopped at Hartford, and stayed all night with 
the family 96 — a tall, slender, graceful youth he was, with hand- 
some steel blue eyes and a broadcloth coat and ruffled shirt. 97 

When Thomas was four, and times were better, his father built 
a new residence for his wife and children. In the spring he 
moved his family again, together with the weaving house, to a 
high spot on Hartford with good clean soil for a yard and a 

91 Jesse Benton to Thomas Hart, Hartford, March 22, 1783, in Thomas J. Clay Papers, 
Library of Congress. 

68 Jesse Benton to Thomas Hart, Hartford, August 23, 1783, in Thomas J. Clay Papers, 
Library of Congress. 

03 Jesse Benton to Thomas Hart, June 20, 1784, in Thomas J. Clay Papers, Library of 

94 Young, Genealogical Narrative, 78. 

9G Compare Nancy Benton to Thomas Hart, Hartford, September 25, 1792, Thomas J. Clay 
Papers, Library of Congress; Fremont, "Biographical Sketch," 4; and Benton, "Auto-Bio- 
graphical Sketch," p. i. 

90 Benton, Thirty Years View, I, 736. 

97 Marquis James, The Life of Andrew Jackson (Garden City, 1940), 37. 

The Family of Thomas Hart Benton 399 

garden. It was "the Pleasantest and most beautiful situation in 
Orange," with a delightful prospect including the range of moun- 
tains, his friend Colonel Alfred Moore's houses and half a dozen 
other plantations. There Jesse put in a new twenty-acre farm, 
which produced very well. He rented the old houses and stables 
to a tavern keeper, and planned to rent the plantation tanyard 
and store before fall. 98 

Soon the boy was old enough to go about some with his mother 
and older sisters, or with one of the slaves. Visiting in the 
neighborhood, or in the village of Hillsborough itself, he could 
gaze at the elegantly dressed ladies and gentlemen of the Tide- 
water aristocracy who came to the Piedmont for the summer 
air," or at the thriving local population of rough farmers 
or wide-ranging country children. He could listen to a tiny little 
lady near Hillsborough who entertained the neighbors by singing 
English or Scottish ballads, playing on a mandolin-like old Eng- 
lish guitar with twelve strings. 100 At the family plantation it- 
self, Thomas could learn fishing in a stream which was filled with 
good catches. 101 

But it was not all pastoral calm at Hartford. Gradually Jesse 
Benton's health was giving way to consumption, 102 and he wor- 
ried more and more about his debts and the insecurity of his wife 
and children. "Interest on a considerable sum is fatal to a small 
Estate," he lamented, "and the thought which frequently in- 
trudes upon me, of the uncertainty of a Man's Days, and leaving 
a Family incapable of settling an incumbered estate, carries with 
it a Melancholy idea." To be sure, business was good. Still, a 
swarm of insects the Lord had sent as in the plagues of ancient 
Egypt, had destroyed wheat and rye crops, and rendered Jesse's 
"Manufactures" less profitable than they should have been. 103 
And the master of Hartford did long for freedom from debt. 

Meanwhile, Jesse was concerned about the education of his 
children. The accomplished Nancy taught Thomas at home as 


98 Jesse Benton to Thomas Hart, Hartford, April 3, 1786, Thomas J. Clay Papers, Library 
of Congress. 

99 Jesse Benton to Thomas Hart, Hartford, April 3, 1786, Thomas J. Clay Papers, Library 
of Congress. 

ioo Moore, Some Memories of My Life, 9. 

101 Moore, Some Memories of My Life, 22. 

i° 2 Fremont, "Biographical Sketch," 3. 

103 Jesse Benton to Thomas Hart, Hartford, April 3, 1786, in Thomas J. Clay Papers, 
Library of Congress. This is an extraordinary document, twenty pages long, crammed with 
information about the Benton family, the plantation, Thomas Hart's business affairs, Jesse's